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August 20th, 2010

#2 son has taken up running.

I don’t know why. To the best of my knowledge, nothing is chasing him. But almost daily, of his own accord, he gets out of his chair and says, “I think I’ll go for a run.” And then, he does.

He has also returned to inform me that the neighbors have a Rottweiler. And that he is not running in that direction again.

Now, I am both surprised, and puzzled. I barely know that we have neighbors, much less what kind of dog they have. And he was running towards it, not away.

But he has taken this newfound interest, and joined the high school cross country team, which makes at least, a modicum of sense. At least, it did until this week. He came home on Monday, and told us that he had to do a triathlon on Friday.

To which his family responded by laughing until we could not breathe.
Apparently, he had confused triathlon with relay. Since he had no problems with handing off batons, he said, “Sure!”

Not only had he gotten the definition wrong. But he’d forgotten one important fact. We have established that he can run a mile. And he insists that he can manage 10 laps of the pool. Although #1 son has his doubts. #1 is a lifeguard, and was a captain of his high school swim team. His standards are high, and I doubt he will approve of #2’s technique. #2 is excessively tall, with long, boney arms and legs that are probably perfect for distance running. But in the pool, he is likely to look like a spider drowning in a bathtub.

Time will tell.

But neither of these is the real problem.

#2 does not know how to ride a bike. We never taught him. The last time I remember trying, it was for #1. I attempted to show him that his mom still had the stuff, because you never forget how to ride a bike. I fell over, and hit him in the knee on the way down.
He has never forgiven me.

But #2 has less experience than that.

We tried on Tuesday. We got the bike out of the shed. He washed the guano off of it. I proved to him that I know how to pump up the tires and adjust the seat.

And then, we proved that the bike we have is too small for him, now that he’s 6’ 2” or better.

He attempted a little abortive pedal into the yard.

I said he should stay where it was flat. Which, in our yard, limits you to a short stretch of curved driveway.

He tried the hill. And was yelling, on his way down, WHY WOULD ANYONE EVEN INVENT A THING LIKE THIS????????

At least I didn’t kneecap him. But have you ever seen anyone in a triathlon that used training wheels?

He thinks he has found a solution. In tonight’s race, he will be sharing a tandem bike. He asked me if this would be harder, or easier.

This afternoon, when my sides stop aching from suppressed mirth, we will be buying a bike helmet. And maybe a St Christopher’s medal.