Triathlon Angel

I was sitting here this morning, thinking about short-term goals that will motivate my naturally lazy butt to keep working out and thoughts traveled back to The Girls Best Friend Triathlon.  I am still disappointed in my overall time for that race, it should have and could have been better.  If only, I was more concerned about doing well than about NOT peeing on the race course…lesson learned.

Anyway, I drove down to the race from GR with Coach in the car with me while my other friends, both racers and fans, traveled in 2 other cars.  Poor Coach.  I got to his place 20 minutes earlier than we agreed upon, cuz I was nervous.  Then, I was my typical race day chatterbox at that awful early time of day.

We got to the park and as I was getting my bike out and checking air pressure in my tires I was quite clueless to the fact that everyone around me was doing the same thing.  I was making sure I had everything I needed.   This young girl wanders over and asks if she would be able to borrow my bike pump when I was done.

Verbally, I said “Sure! No problem!”

Internally, I thought…how do you come to a race that involves a bike and not have one with you!  (mind you, some may think something similar of me if they were to find out that I have no tools nor any knowledge of how to change a bike tire should I need to mid-race)

I finished and handed her the pump as I gathered and checked my backpack for all the necessities I knew were in there but had to check again anyway. I heard the girl pumping then heard the pump detach from the bike.  She didn’t have it locked on so it wasn’t doing anything.  I went over to show her how to use it and as I am working on her bike she says, “I probably don’t need air anyway, I just am seeing everyone else pumping their tires, so I figure I should too!”

Ahhhh I get it.  First time.  Nervous as all get out.  No clue what she is doing.  I soooo know that feeling!  Yes!  Someone more nervous than I!  I didn’t know it was possible!

Coach leans over and puts his thumb on her tire and pushes it all the way down with little effort.  “Umm Yeah, you definitely need air.”

As I am pumping her tires, her mom ( I assume it was her mom), is taking all sorts of pictures of the athlete standing there while I pump.  The athlete is talking and she says  something that totally makes me laugh.

“You are my triathlon angel!”

Whaaatttt???  OK.  I pumped your tires when 1. you needed air and 2. you didn’t know how to use the pump.

I totally get the feeling she is having though.  There is someone who showed up and took care of some detail when all your brain function seems to have left you completely.   I have many Triathlon Angels from my towel boys, the fans who show up, and friends who race with me…in fact, had I thought of that term last year, Coach just may have been called an Angel for having run with me in this very race!

I just never thought of myself as one!

Still don’t, in fact.  I pumped some tires!

I didn’t think to get the girls name, or even to really notice what she looked like or what she was wearing ( I had my own kind of nerves going on afterall!), but I sure hope she did her very best and is proud of the fact that she did it!

Side story:

The next day, my cousin rode  his bike over to our house. He asked to use the bike pump for his tires.  Sure, no problem.  20 minutes later, he comes back in the house talking about how his tires are now completely flat because this pump doesn’t pump, it sucks the air out.

Little brother tried to tell him how to use it.  I got up and headed out to the garage and pumped his tires up for him, while he stood there watching.

Distant Memory:

I recall last fall, when I first got my bike and pump, texting Coach frantically wondering how in the world do I use this thing to pump my tires!!!  I had never seen nor heard of a Presta valve before and had NO CLUE how to work it.  Also, the locking thing seemed backwards to me.  In my recollection as a kid, when the lock is down it is locked on.  Not these days.  Open is locked.

I have to remember these things so that I can understand and remember how I felt as a triathlon and cycling virgin.   Heck, an exerciser of any sort virgin.   Then I can express sympathy to others and laugh at myself and my growing arrogance.  I have to remember to not take myself so seriously, because I really am NOT that big of a deal!


2 thoughts on “Triathlon Angel

  1. Some of the most effective teachers and coaches (and angels!) I know are those who remember what it was like to be a rookie and who take others under their wing (slight angel reference again…) and help them along.

    Sounds to me like God is using you in many great ways, Kim. Kudos to you!

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