SMART or Estupida?

13 Oct

I have always done better with a goal, a BIG goal. At age 40 I got through the coming-out process by discovering triathlons. Bike – Cycle – Run. I completed my first triathlon dead last of all participants. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled across the finish line to a cheering crowd and heard my name called to receive an award (I still have it). I had finished third in my age group of three. I had fun and learned a lot, like the need to get all event details instead of assuming the run portion is a 5k (3.2 miles) instead of 5 miles.

Participating in a triathlon fueled my interest in cycling. My 40s were spent on a bicycle, on long rides with Team Roadkill and by myself. My longest event ride was over two days from Houston to Austin in the MS 150. I had fun and learned to really, really pay attention to the weather and not assume a beautiful Texas spring day.

For my 50th birthday I completed my one and only marathon. I joined a training group that met at Runtex in Austin. I logged weekday miles on a treadmill and weekends with the Runtex group that included an experienced leader. I had fun traversing the city on foot and learned not to blindly trust a trainer. Being inexperienced I could have done nothing else and ended up barely finishing the marathon.

And now, retired at age 61, having spent the last year in training for the monumental task of moving to Mexico, I wasn’t exactly looking for a new goal. My body isn’t so keen on running or spending long hours on a bicycle. I love to walk and have dreamed of a trip to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago. But nothing immediate, that is until this week.

Being a fan of the book, Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Harry Lodge, I am aware that as one ages, it is even more important to participate in strenuous physical activity, preferably with a goal in mind. That’s why when I saw the Paddle Marathon Laguna Bacalar, a race the length of Laguna Bacalar scheduled for May 1-3, 2014, my interest was piqued. I’ve already noticed the progress I have made with my kayaking since arriving in Bacalar six weeks ago. I go further every day with less effort. However, the idea of kayaking 46 miles over a two-day period seems daunting, outrageous, even insane. Which is exactly why I want to do it.

I have a sweet little kayak that is sleek and perfect for the race. Before leaving Austin, I invested in a carbon paddle which is lighter than aluminum, having already entertained the thought of a long paddle, perhaps with an overnight stay. Just maybe this half-brained scheme is attainable. At the least, I will have fun and learn stuff. No permanent damage done? Right?

SMART Objectives
S- Specific – Race (and I use that word lightly) the length of Laguna Bacalar
M- Measurable 46 miles over two days
A- Attainable – which remains to be seen
R- Reasonable – it is doable by others, young enough to be my grandchildren
T- Time framed – May 1-3, 2014

There’s plenty of time to train, so if you’re at all interested, please come join me. There will be a kayak film festival and a week of activities surrounding the event. At the very least, you can wave from the shore with your binoculars as I go whizzing by.

Blue Bliss

Blue Bliss

Kayak in Heaven

Paddle Heaven

Thought for the Day

Life Begins

14 Responses to “SMART or Estupida?”

  1. lizabett October 13, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    You go girl I might even brave an overland trip up there to cheer you on! Liz


  2. midwife87505 October 13, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    You can do this!!! Enjoy the journey!!
    Thank you for sharing your inspiring and beautiful adventures


    • afish25 October 13, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

      Thanks for your vote of confidence. I’ll need it.


  3. Garth October 13, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    I love you, and pass the bon bons, Can you fluff my pillow before you start paddling?


    • afish25 October 14, 2013 at 9:39 am #

      Somehow I knew who wrote the comment bf I even saw your name :@) you old coot.


  4. brucekelley October 13, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    Good luck with your Kayak race, Alex.

    Say, how is the house coming along, got any pix?



    • afish25 October 13, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

      Haven’t started building yet Bruce. I’ll definitely post when we do.


  5. An October 13, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    Oh Alex, this is so inspirational. You are strong! -alicia

    Sent from my iPad



    • afish25 October 13, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

      Hey Sweetie, thanks for stopping by. What’s your retirement date?


  6. Felice October 13, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    Awesome mom. Of course you would find something new to train for. You inspire me!


    • afish25 October 13, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

      Thanks Honey, It’s pretty insane, but I’ll enjoy the process.


  7. Tiffany K October 13, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    I see that you’re still using your state education in your retirement. The SMART goals are a great way to attain a goal. It’s good that you’re taking advantage of retirement in the places that so many of us may not ever visit. I wish you the best in your Paddle Marathon.


    • afish25 October 13, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

      Laughed out loud. The health educator in me, glad you noticed. You absolutely can come visit!!


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