Several years ago, my dad had emergency surgery, and there were complications during his recovery. Shortly after he left the hospital, he rented his crop land to a neighbor and sold his beef cattle and thoroughbred horses. When I suggested he perhaps was being too hasty in his decision, he said there hadn’t been much to do while lying in his hospital bed but think about how it was time for him to quit farming.
As I’ve hobbled around with some difficulty for the past 10 days with my broken foot in its boot, and spent more hours than usual sitting, I’ve contemplated whether it’s time for me to quit my training regimen. One of the scarier aspects of being injured is that it points out a disadvantage of living alone. Friends and co-workers have been very helpful, but I don’t want to impose of them too much. My children, of course, would come to my aid if necessary, but I hadn’t planned to burden them with my infirmities for at least a few more years. So, while I expect my foot will heal eventually, I’m worried about incurring some other injury that might be more incapacitating. I’ve brushed off past falls while running or biking, but now I’m wondering if I’ve reached the “Age of Decline,” where I should be more circumspect about my choice of activities. That sense of unease will put a big crimp in my training, but not training at all would leave a large void in my life.
My dad’s self-imposed retirement didn’t last long. Within a few months, he bought two Angus cows. Then he bought three more, and soon there were nine cows in the pasture where once there had been nearly 50. Every morning he goes out in his pick-up to check on his “herd.” His day has a purpose, and he still feels like a farmer.
I still want to feel like a triathlete. I still would like to do an Olympic distance triathlon as a solo entry. So last night I did some strength training with a focus on upper body work and cycled for 20 minutes on a stationary bike wearing my boot. I hope that by the time indoor cycling starts on December 1, my footwear will be less cumbersome, but if it’s not, I’ll do what I can to keep tri-ing. Since I won a complimentary entry for the 2010 Pink Power Sprint at the TG brunch, I know there’s at least one event in my future.