Wednesday, January 21, 2009



Maybe I’m slow or maybe I’m just looking at it differently. It hit me on the plane ride to Paris. Yes, the US took an historical step by electing an African American to the highest office in the world. Hopefully this breaks the barriers set before people who aren’t white males. I say that because hopefully the company I work for will now put women in a higher position. It’s crazy for me to think that an international company who reveres women in athletics can’t promote women in management. But I digress. What hit me was the inauguration itself. You have to go back 16 years to a party like that. When Bill Clinton first took office it was a party. People were excited for his youth, fresh ideas and swagger. 4 years later he took the oath under a cloud of scrutiny. 4 years after that the election of George Bush was controversial. It’s not his fault but he lost the popular vote and essentially won in the courts. It was not a happy time for the country. 4 years after that what choice did the country have. It would have been a disaster to switch presidents then (It was a disaster anyway!). So yesterday was a party. A party for youth, a party for fresh ideas, a party for swagger and a party for the humble. That’s why more than 2 million people showed up on the Mall. That’s why Mary threw an inauguration party last night. That’s why 5 fifth and sixth grade boys sat captivated in front of the TV watching the party. What a great day for Americans.

The Inauguration Party
When Mary sets her mind to something it always comes out great. Last night she hosted an inauguration party. In attendance were our close American friends here in Germany. Also in attendance were our close German friends and our German neighbors. Mary served Chili, Coke, Bud and Mac and Cheese. She hung the flag, she was buzzing around the house. What we witnessed was something amazing. I already mentioned the 5 boys. But our German friends were witnessing something for the first time. Probably because they didn’t really care about the most recent inaugurations but more because an American, Mary invited them to watch. Clearly, they walked out of the house amazed at the spectacle and the celebration of the transfer of power.

My Training
Living in California all those years I clearly took the great weather and year round comfort for granted. I used to look forward to rainy days in January or February because it meant I couldn’t go out and destroy myself on the bike. Today I find myself searching for a training camp to go to. There are camps coming up in San Diego, Tucson, the Canary Islands, Israel and Greece that I know about. I welcome the idea of actually going out on my bike without ice on the ground or without spending almost as much time dressing as I do running. I know that this will end but I’m still looking at roughly 6 weeks of questionable weather for riding a bike. Of course as winter changes to spring, the mud will be back in force. I know I won’t go to a training camp but I also know that if I ever get the opportunity to live in a place like San Diego (If there is any place like it) I will not forget these days.
One funny note. I’ve been doing quite a bit of swimming recently (warm training without a shirt). I ventured out to the big pool (50 meters) and am enjoying it. Last week I had a workout that called for 16 50’s of warm up and then the main set. So I’m in the pool doing my 50’s and I’m dragging. They seem to be taking forever. I’m on #11 thinking hard about just bagging the swim because it’s dragging on. Then it hits me, “I’m in a 50 meter pool”. You see, my head can still go on auto pilot. Most pools in the world are 25 meters or yards. So a 50 is down and back. So I’m on #11 of 50’s down and back when it hits me. 50 meters is down. So in actuality I was on #11 of 16 100’s. I stopped after #11, rested for a tad and then rolled into the main set feeling a bit stupid but very relieved that it wasn’t really me dragging after all.

It’s a good life….

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