I spoke to my friend Bill this morning and had to break the news that he didn’t get called out by name in my book. (It was hard to pick and choose the stories I shared, as I didn’t want to bore readers to death.) After a sincere apology, I promised to include him in my second book that I am currently writing.

In Feel Fabulous, Straight Up, I make reference to a number of my outdoor escapades, many of which involved a leap of faith (or degree of stupidity, whichever may be deemed appropriate). I mention these rather goofy stories to inspire others to try things that might seem “out of bounds” on the surface. After all, by admitting my not-so-stellar attempts at various activities and events, I hope to convince others that first place is not ALWAYS what’s it’s all about. (Given how many second place finishes I have endured in my mixed doubles tennis league this fall, I have forgotten what first place means).

So anyway, here’s one of my Bill stories……

Bill used to be a great triathlete (and I am trying to convince him he still would be if he started training again). He has a number of trophies and plaques to show for his efforts back in the early to mid-nineties.

When I first moved to Boston, he talked me into entering a mountain bike thiathlon. The distance was fairly short, so I figured I could at least finish the event. And despite our training swims at Walden Pond (the body of water after whom my puppy is now named), I wasn’t adequately prepared for the mountain bike portion of the event. Even though I owned a $200 Trek bicycle, I’d never actually used it for its intended purpose. To prepare for the bike portion of the triathlon, I asked a colleague at work how to how to mountain bike. That evening, the eve of the race, I drove over to the Medford trails to take my bike for a test ride for about 300 yards (why I didn’t ride a little farther is still a mystery).

Yes, I finished the race but it wasn’t pretty. When we conversed this morning, Bill reminded me of my comments to him  after I crossed the finish line (well behind him), “Bill, I don’t like you at all.”

So I may have posted a last place finish, but at least I did it. And though I didn’t attempt mountain biking again until the following year, I have ended up being a fairly decent rider after all.

And by the way, Bill was a pretty decent babysitter, too.

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