What a long strange trip it's been...

On August 21, Ironman Mont Tremblant took place.

My confirmation for the 2020 Ironman Mont Tremblant race.

The last time the race happened was in 2019...the same weekend I decided to take on the BHAG! Just a couple of days after the race, I signed up for the 2020 race.


And, shortly after that, I started this blog.


That was 3 years ago!!!


So much has happened over that time, that it is hard to fathom.


Who would've thought then, we'd be slowly returning "to normal" from a world wide pandemic, and that race would not have happened for 2 years.


In August of 2019, I had 2 elementary school kids heading back to school--6th grade and 4th grade. Now, I have a high schooler, and middle schooler--9th and 7th!

June 2019 -- Family trip out West. Here we are at Zion National Park in Utah.

WHAT?!?!?!?


Seriously, our family had just returned from an awesome trip out West...visiting Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Salt Lake City, Park City, Ogden, Promontory Summit.


It was fantastic!


They look so little and young!


That summer, also helped me to decide to do something Epic for my 50th birthday the following year. The BHAG!


In 2019, I was still working in the bike shop, part time. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to return to the museum world, let alone a full time position.


Yup, as the Grateful Dead has sung, it has been a long strange trip.


I went to Facebook a while ago, and watched some of the Ironman race Live. I was struck by how I wasn't upset. Sure, I teared up a little when I heard Mike Reilly call people across the finish line.


"You are an Ironman!"


I thought for sure I'd be a little bummed that I had missed out--twice. Instead, I was content. I knew I made the right decision.


If I had raced that Sunday, I'd be rushing around this week, being physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted from the BHAG, making sure everyone was ready for the school year. Instead, I'm still rushing around, but not quite as exhausted.


I am enjoying working with the boys as they prepare to start school next week. They keep growing, so we needed some new clothes, as well as school supplies.


Luckily I don't need to buy masks, or hand sanitizer by the gallon.


J and I are finalizing a 9th grade English summer reading requirement, which he will need to turn in on the first day of school.


B has been busy with Scouts. He completed 11 Merit Badges over the summer, as well as working on his First Class Scout rank (which is almost done!). He's also been hanging out with friends, and getting ready to become a "small fish in a big pond."

I finally got a chance to "commute" to work!

With school starting soon...my days will also be very different.


No longer will I yell at them to get off their screens, and go play outside.


I won't have to drop off and pick up at different camps, workshops, practices, etc.


I will push them out the door to catch the school bus at 6:45, and greet them when they return at 2:30.


And during that time, I can focus on work, or on my days off...focus on myself.


Another strange thing that has happened, is what we call in the bike community, "N + 1".


N = the number of bikes you currently own.


And, the correct number of bikes that you should own is "N + 1".


Recently, I got my + 1.


I had thought about getting a mountain bike because riding on the roads is getting more and more dangerous.


However, I really didn't have anyone to ride with. And where is the fun in that?

My N+1: a 2022 Kona Rove LTD.

My two running/backpacking/ "Epic $#&@"

friends have been talking about "bike packing" or some sort of long, multi-day, bike ride. They specifically mentioned riding the Erie Canal Trail from Buffalo to Albany.


A lot of the Erie Canal trail is gravel, or crushed rock. Some of it is paved but most is not. So, the kind of bike you need to ride this type of terrain, is a newer type of bike called a "gravel bike"; basically a road bike with bigger / wider tires.


This is the latest trend in cycling.


New gravel races have started up, and there are bike travel sites that are catering to this new discipline. A lot of this does have to do with people wanted to continue to ride bikes, but they don't want a mountain bike, and they want to get off road and explore.


That's what I want too.


So I got a new bike...and the long strange trip continues.


This bike is also great, because it will be a lot easier to ride with the boys, especially on the bike path, or on the trails between neighborhoods.

J and I taking a ride after dinner.

I can also attache a rack for panniers (bags) and other necessities for a long trip.


But the other thing I am looking forward to is riding this bike at dusk...after work, when it has cooled off, and I can enjoy the quiet.


Riding at night can be dangerous, but if you have the correct, brightly colored, reflective clothing, and lights, it is so much fun!!!


Work is starting to slow down...the busy season of the summer is wrapping up. But that doesn't mean it is truly slowing down. For me it is ramping up.


The focus of my job is to work on school programs for our 4 museums, and even though I have been slowly working on that...I've primarily been running around covering for our lack of staffing. This has given me a better understanding of our sites, their stories, and the great potential that each site has. I am loving it!


It has also made me realize that as much as I thought I was a superwoman...I am not.


Realizing a few blog posts ago that I could not do everything, means that I can also tell work, that I cannot be at 4 sites at the same time. I can only cover for 1 person at a time, not several.


This is not their fault...certain events happen on certain days, and people get sick, or have vacations planned several months in advance, or seasonal staff quit. It is hard to be short staffed, know it, do your best to please everyone, and to fail at that.

A recent short hike of Thomas Mountain just north of Lake George, NY

Just ask anyone in the retail, restaurant or hospitality world.


So, even though I am struggling with trying to solve all the problems in my little world, I am appreciative for all I have, and all the people I work with (and used to work with).


I may never complete the BHAG that is Ironman Mont Tremblant, but I have also learned to never say never.


Because, I never thought I'd have kids, let alone teenagers.


I never thought I'd do a triathlon, let alone love them!


I never thought I'd be back in the museum world...happily.


I never thought I'd be climbing mountains!


And, I never thought I would be lucky enough to have awesome, supportive friends and family who encourage and support me on my crazy half-baked ideas.


And those ideas only seem to get crazier the older I get.


Like climbing more mountains, riding bikes, and trail running races. Who knows what's next? Swimming around Mackinaw Island???


It could happen...BHAG 2.0? August 2023. Anyone?


See swimaroundmac.com

I do like swimming.....




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