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Moving forward (or "Wetsuits, Taco Bell & gay marriage")

Seems like an appropriate title given the last week...

I was sore for a couple days in a very mild, hard workout kind of way. For as physically taxing as Sunday's triathlon was, it was the mental part that I've been slower to recover on. If you asked me coming out of the water on race day if I ever intended to do that again I'd have given you a resounding "no."

But then, the more I think about it, the more fun it was precisely because it was hard, out of my comfort zone, and a little scary. I've since read a couple stories circulating the tri world of others who were backstroking 800m last weekend and far off course (which I was not, at least) or who threw their hands up within 150 meters of starting...thought about it. Didn't do it. Struggled and finished.

So, despite the fact that I was frustrated with my race, I've found myself trying on a sleeveless wetsuit that Kelly had stashed away in her triathlon bin in the basement. It fits and is legal thickness. A sign! I took the aerobar drink holder for the bike out as well. Something deep inside me seems to be making choices for me, it appears. I think that's what they call drive, will, and ambition. It's a funny feeling. That voice that tells you to defy logic, prepare for misery, and that it will all work out. The last time I listened to that voice, I ended up a SAHD to two toddlers! And, hey, that turned out ok, right?

That's the very definition of faith in yourself methinks. Being more comfortable possibly making a bad choice than the regret with not having tried. Knowing what you know now, would you trade in your kids? Wish you hadn't run that marathon? See what I mean.

Kelly and I were chatting the other evening about Taco Bell. We saw the ad and were reminiscing about our old favorite orders from our younger days. We'd never stuff that crap in ourselves today. But somewhere inside I have a longing for a double decker taco, chili cheese burrito, and some cinnamon crisps. People change. As I've said before, if you told me 5 years ago my partner would turn to me in the kitchen one day at lunch and suggest the upside to knowing a variety of wetsuit brand sizing differences when purchasing my own one day...well, we all maybe turn into different people.

Hopefully, more capable, wise, and amazing people. But, hey, I know a few who've gotten more bitter, crazy, and lonely with age. (You know who you are.) I have approximately 2 months until I'm schedule to volunteer in Madison for Ironman Wisconsin 2013...where I'll have to make a decision about signing up for 2014 as an athlete. My goal between now and then is to do one 50 mile bike ride and get down to Ohio Street Beach to swim in Lake Michigan once to prove to myself Sunday was a fluke and that with practice I'll become a better open water swimmer. Stay tuned.

The kids
We get the results of Cole's preschool testing on Monday to decide what program he will end up in for the fall. From what the professionals seem to be saying it will really come down to how much we care about student-teacher ratio for one-on-one time versus how much do we care about him being around (more) normal kids for socialization. Rest assured, we're told, he'll do great either place. We'll see. I think we're both anxious to see what the district thinks vis-a-vis his last evaluation from the state in the late winter and early spring. He's made a lot of progress but they know best their own programs and services.

In the middle of the night last night, we heard Leda crying "up, up, up" from her crib. And then she specifically asked for a bottle. It's one of those melt-your-heart moments as a parent. Forget repeating back ABCs and numbers or colors. What really blows our mind is when the kids exercise free will choices and have their own random thoughts and opinions. Or, in Cole's case, he knows where we need to go to find the pepperoni to make a pizza. Leda, unlike her phone-hating brother, also holds up the phone to talk. It gets ridiculous how much they're their own people.

Gay Marriage
Congrats to my friends who are breathing a little bit easier this morning after finding out yesterday that their marriages are more--not less--accepted. We're probably on a march to national gay marriage--correctly. The Supreme Court pretty much left the door open that we're going to have to have a followup case dealing with the logical conclusions of all this.  DOMA was ruled unconstitutional not just on federalism grounds but equal protection grounds as well. I'm posting a couple post-ruling articles I find insightful about the situation. I've long been an advocate not just for gay marriage but for the idea of expanding government benefits to all sorts of family structures in general. I need not explain more here.

I will say only two things that are in the front of my mind after yesterday:
1) Homophobia--like racism or sexism--will not be stamped out because of yesterday. BUT, what yesterday does is turn the debate to how we deal with the mainstreaming of gay rights and what becomes of traditional views. It's now become the thing you don't the office you will get fired, etc.. I, for one, hope that in our victory we can respect the beliefs of those who do not share our hopeful vision of the future. Mike Huckabee is in his rights to say "Jesus wept." (Forget that Jesus was radically inclusive and said nothing about homosexuality. But I digress.) Same sex marriage is winning legalization and becoming legitimate leaving same-sex couples and their families to live how they wish without discrimination. Following that, what is our reaction to the holdouts who still hold a negative view of homosexuality? Contempt? Mocking? Understanding? I was greatly amused by all the whackadoodle things being said in reaction to the court ruling. But, then again, aside from being funny to most people there is a dead-serious element to what they're saying this is both sad and beyond hope of coming to some middle ground.

2) That leads me to my second thought though...that we have a history in this country of expanding rights, not narrowing or limiting rights. Remember Prohibition? Didn't go so well. This article hits on this point a bit. It cuts both ways.

"Kennedy simply reminds the country that it is not in our constitutional tradition to enact laws that meanly seek to make things worse for people trying to lead an ordinary human life. Regardless of how insular or discrete they are."