“I love awards, especially if I get them” – Ben Gazzara (American actor)
Last weekend I received a plaque at the Lake Lenape Sprint Tri. I was third in my age group, so the plaque read:
“FOR THE MOST EXCELLENT AND INCREDIBLE ACHIEVEMENT OF BESTING ALL COMPETITORS AMONGST THE FEMALE PARTICIPANTS IN BETWEEN (AND INCLUDING) THE AGES OF 45 TO 49, EXCEPT FOR TWO OTHER WOMEN AND THE OVERALL CHAMPION WHO IS 47 AND IS NOT PERMITTED TO WIN TWO PRIZES.”
Here is a photo of me holding this stunningly beautiful award:
Mr. Photo Bomber, you look sick. I hope you are feeling better.
I promise you, it says all that stuff on it. It’s really small so you can’t see it. I had to use my camera phone because the official TMT photographer was unavailable. She said something about a “real job” and “leave me alone” and “quit harassing me with your stupid blog.”
Here at The Mediocre Triathlete, we aim for 100% transparency. All honesty, all the time. Truth be told, I had a horrible race Saturday. My swim was great, then it all went downhill from there:
- I dropped my bike coming out of T1 because I couldn’t buckle my helmet.
- About a mile into the ride, the bursitis in my left hip said, “Hey there! Hi! What are we doing? Ooh, this looks like fun! I want IN!” Complete agony until mile 7. I was sure every woman in my swim wave passed me within 5 minutes on the bike course.
- I slipped my feet out of my bike shoes off before dismounting so I could run barefoot through a parking lot full of broken shells.
- I dropped my bike again as I tried to rack it in T2.
- My run was my typical slow pace, slow enough to make friends with every 12 year-old volunteer on the course. The local softball team was at water stop 1. The pitcher couldn’t make it that day. How do I know that? Well, that’s just how slow I am.
With all of that intra-race tragedy, I still eagerly searched for my name on the results print out. By all rights, I should have packed my bag, eaten a bagel, and waited for my friends to collect their hardware. But I looked. And when I didn’t see my name immediately for an AG award, I was disappointed. And then I was disappointed in myself for being disappointed in something so stupid and inconsequential. And then I realized that I actually did place because the overall winner (the birthday girl) was in my age group. And then I was happy. And then I felt ridiculous for being happy over something so stupid and inconsequential. Get it?
Maybe this will help. It’s an emoji flow chart (engineers use these all the time):
- Looked at results.
- Didn’t win.
- Realized I am pathetic for being sad.
- Did win.
- Realized I am pathetic for being happy.
- Felt hungry.
- Ate a bagel with peanut butter.
Seriously, a sports psychologist would read this and think: getting her on the couch=next year’s Caribbean cruise.
It’s all about fun for me. At least that’s what I tell myself, and I tell you, all twelve of you regular readers. (Yes, it’s up to twelve. And I love you all dearly. Wait ’til you see what I got you for Christmas!) I don’t know if it’s human nature or my innate basketball player/competitive self or it’s the American way. It’s pathetic and exciting and silly and dramatic all at the same time. All for a piece of plastic and to hear your name called.
I think it’s time to get back into group therapy.
We knew you’d be back. We all hold hands now.