Monday, July 16, 2007

Marriage Retreat (aka The Couples Triathlon Race Report)

Relationships are about balance. There are ups and downs, compromises, give and takes, you carry me then I'll carry you, back to back against the world, all that good stuff.

This weekend was one of those opportunities for me to say a big THANK YOU to my husband for all the support he's given me in my triathlon endeavors. Big Daddy's work schedule is much more demanding than mine and not even remotely as flexible. So for him to find time to train (on his own) has taken monumental efforts and dedication to get it done. GO SCOTT!

It's also quite humorous to recall all of the crazy things I've dragged him into over the years:

"Big Guys Dancing"
- a rousing, encore-inducing dance routine I choreographed and directed for him and 15 other Tuxedo-clad Big Guys (minimum requirements were 6 ft tall and 200 lbs) at our business school year-end show. Come over for drinks...we have video.

Snow Skiing
- as a high school and collegiate quarterback, Scott rarely had the chance to do other sports until his retirement. So I dragged him out to the slopes, stuck him in ski school for a day or two and then took him out on some black diamonds. He's always such a good sport!

Kick Boxing
- always looking for an adrenaline rush, I took up brazilian kickboxing in the offseason (to my pro cheerleading activities). Turns out dancing legs are pretty good for kicking your opponent in the head! Who knew? Scott, on the other side, from his quarterbacking days, had very fast and very strong hands. Fortunately, when we sparred together, he wasn't allowed to hit me in the face! (My best defense was that I could roundhouse him to the head and still remain out of reach of his hands!!) Scott actually fought an official amateur fight at an event. He won by KO in the 2nd round, breaking his hand on the guy's head in the process. It was awesome. Come over for drinks...we have video.

And now, Triathlon
- Not a sport designed for the bigger guys. In fact, one of Scott's biggest issues is finding cool cycling jerseys made for guys bigger than say, Adam! But nonetheless, he took the sport head on! GO SCOTT!

So I had the distinct pleasure of being Big Daddy's Domestique at the Couples Triathlon (800 meter Swim, 11.2 mile bike, 3.1 mile run). It was the perfect opportunity since I know this course like the back of my hand and had just raced on it for the Danskin in June. I tried to let him in on all the secrets we've discovered (some the easy way...some the hard way) about races.

The swim was great! Because of the dry start, we just waded in across the mats and took off in the water when we were ready. No having to be in the craziness of the pack or anything. Scott always breathes on the right and I always breathe on the left, so I positioned myself off his right shoulder and just a bit ahead. I tried to act like one of his old lineman and block for him. So I made sure that he stayed on course and that no one tried to swim into least from the right. He did freestyle the whole way! Awesome Job!

The bike was fun too. I let him set the pace and stayed 3 bike lengths behind for most of the ride. Occasionally, I would pedal up to him to tell him something about the him the heads up about the right turn with the steep hill, which sections were good for water breaks, passing him gel blocks (which I think is technically illegal, right? receiving aid from a non-race official? oops.), etc. The funny part was on the big down hills, his size advantage would show up and he'd go blasting down the hill. I'd have to get a big gear, get small and pedal hard to get back close to him.

The run was hard. I'm sure he will tell you that he needs to do more bricks. And that last hill on the course is a bitch, even when you know it is coming. But he never stopped. He just kept chugging up the hill. When we got to the top, I told him he'd better not sprint faster than me and blow me away. (He can still beat me in a 40... but something longer, I think I might have the edge.) He said he wouldn't! We neared the finish, picked up the pace and crossed the finish together. GO TEAM SCHAFFNER!

It was an awesome time for me to be able to be a part of the race with him. I love that he isn't scared to try new things, even when he may not be the best at them. It was great to give back some of the fantastic support he's always shown me and my crazy ideas.

Big Thanks to Big Daddy!

(here's a pic of him at the day job...)


Shorey said...

Good report! Scott looked like a real champ out there! Since I have danced many a Dionn-choreographed number, I'd be interested to see that video.

Shorey said...

Scott's not a surgeon!

Dionn said...

Surgeon? No. But even though he's a corporate big wig now, he still will get his hands dirty and assist in a back surgery or two when one of his top customers is using his products.