Sunday, October 2, 2016

Defying Logic

I think my cat is building a nuclear bomb in the basement. Little did I know when I affectionately (and inappropriately) named her “Lambe,” I was creating a study in ironic names. I think she is the secret spirit-offspring of Evel Kenievel and Albert Einstein, mixed in with a dash of Winehouse melancholy. I am not yet sure if she is simply a daredevil or perpetually suicidal. It’s hard to say. To put it in context, my dearly departed cat, Echo, is Mother Teresa compared to Lambe (and I once affectionately referred to Echo as the Spawn of Satan).

Yesterday she successfully pooped out a 10-foot length of yarn. The thing is, I keep my yarn behind locked doors now. So, the only logical conclusion is that she is able to teleport items through solid walls. It wouldn’t surprise me. She is quite smart. She could easily have an advanced degree in physics. All the previous pets, if cast in the wild would be lucky to last a day. I believe this one would not only have no problem, but she would organize a colony, get voted in as leader of the feline mafia, and take over the world.

If Lamb is underneath the bed, it sounds like a construction road-works zone. I have no idea what she is doing (and probably never will), but I am pretty certain it is bad. When I stealthily plummet my head to the floor, all noise ceases immediately, and she innocently stares at me with those big yellow-green eyes as if saying. “What’s up?” My fear, of course, is she is secretly burrowing holes in the structural integrity of the bed, and one day I will get in and it will collapse—a fate much worse for her than me, by the way.

At the age of 8 weeks, Lambe almost died by running through the spindles in the hall, only to fall 9 feet to the hardwood floor below. Luckily she survived. Since then she has climbed walls, climbed curtains, climbed people, jumped in the toilet, jumped out of the toilet, jumped in the bathtub (whilst I was still in it), got herself stuck behind a dresser, got her head stuck in the spindles of the chair, got herself accidentally locked into the front porch, thrown up yarn and unidentifiable fluorescent green and red spongy squares, climbed on my desk and pulled out all the push pins and papers on my office cork board using her mouth (all of my papers are now pinned to the very top quarter of my bulletin board, right next to the ceiling), and of course, the most recent yarn-poo incident. I am not even going to list the electrical cord, fan, blinds, shoelace, rug, plug, cardboard and zipper incidents, as they are too plentiful for a single blog.

She might be the only cat who has her own bedroom. Not because we want to separate her from us. We have it for her own safety when we go out. There are no plugs, no cords, or blinds. At one point, I padded the floor (for real), but she started dismantling it.

It’s not necessarily logical (unless you are a cat person), but I love her to pieces. I love the way she gently pats my face, or chirps at the window, her loud purr when I bring out her favourite blanket, and her crazy, entertaining personality. Some things cannot be explained by logic.

This summer, I watched only one aspect of the Olympics, and that was the men’s marathon. This wasn’t because I wasn’t interested in any other sports, but because I accidentally turned on the TV at that moment. I love watching distance runners, especially professional marathon athletes. Maybe it’s the pure beauty, or maybe it is because it took me twice as long to cover the same distance.

The outstanding athlete who won the marathon was Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, but to me, the more interesting story was the American bronze-medalist, Galen Rupp. Why, you may ask? Well, he hasn’t been a marathon runner before…as in ever. He is a middle-distance 10,000-metre kind of guy. In fact, he had never competed in a marathon until the Olympic Marathon Trials on February 13, 2016. So, when he flew across that finish line in Rio, it was only his second marathon! That is pretty incredible.

During a post-race interview, in a wave of inspiration, Rupp quoted and gave credit to his parents, Mahatma Gandhi, Coach Alberta Salazar  an Adam Sander’s movie, because isn’t that who all American’s admire? As I sat there, stunned, I transitioned from laughter at the absurdity of it, to nodding my head in agreement. Wait, he might be onto something here!

The movie in question is Happy Gilmore, a film in which the main character wants desperately to be a hockey player, but discovers he in fact is a much better golfer. Galen was using this strangely Yoda-esque analogy to express how thankful he was to be open to trying something other than his usual middle-distance. Instead of him choosing his path, his path chose him. He always thought of himself as a 10,000 racer all these years, where in fact, he might really be a marathon runner.

This got me thinking. Since the discovery of a torn meniscus and ACL in my right leg, maybe I need to uncover something other than my former marathon training as my “thing.”
So after giving this concept some serious consideration, it appears the next logical goal is quite obvious—I should become a triathlete. It makes complete sense--other than the swimming, biking--and now with my knee--running parts...

Up until last year I didn’t know how to swim at all. Thanks to my friend, Lyndsay, and lots of hours on YouTube, I can now traverse across the 25-meter expanse of a pool-lap sans drowning. (We did try swimming in Lake Simcoe last summer, but again, that deserves its own entry…) And, I don’t own a road bike. In fact, the technician who tuned up my antique mountain bike who, incidentally is at least a third the age of the bike itself, told me they now actually make shocks for bikes. Who knew? It certainly is a brave, new world.

This decision defies logic. Like my cat or Galen Rupp switching from middle to long-distance running, some things just don’t make sense. So, why do it?

Well, I have discovered that when you accomplish something you believe is on the edge of impossible for you, it provides a sense of wonder and discovery that is difficult to articulate.

So, I guess it is time to make a declaration and put a plan together. I am going to “Try-a-Tri” next summer. Pretty sure there will be lots of mishaps to write about along the way! For the first time in over a year, I have to go plug in that Garmin.

Cheers to defying logic. 

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