Tag Archives: Plan B

Plan B, Miss 166, My Non-Water Resistant Camera, and My Cartwheel-Worthy Moment

2 Jul

Did it turn out the way I planned?

No. It almost never does.

Plan B was in full effect Sunday, along with the 100+ degree heat. But as with any Guatacular adventure, Plan B is always in effect, always making an appearance. It’s just the nature of the beast.

Sometimes Plan B ends up being even better than the original.

Yeah … this wasn’t one of those times.

In truth it wasn’t all bad. It provided me with some stressful situations that turned into comedic moments, which turned into great stories. I think that’s what Plan B is about … providing writing material. And it all starts with your plans … your goals.

Just finish.

Don’t fall and crack your head open, ambulances are expensive.

Don’t get a cramp and drown, it sounds like a painful way of dying.

Don’t let the Cha-Cha girl wearing make-up beat you.

Keep up with the 60-year old IronMan lady during the run.

Don’t use all the IcyHot on your quads the first night, your butt muscles could probably use some from all that bike riding.

Hanging out at the starting line trying to get into my Zen-like pre-triathlon frame of mind.

Hanging out at the starting line trying to get into my Zen-like pre-triathlon frame of mind.

All pretty high-achieving goals. I know. And this year an added bonus: Conquer Devil’s Canyon. As you might recall last year this bitch got the best of me and my back. It kicked my ass. This year however I swore I’d make it to the top without stopping and I had more than my pride and two months of yoga pushing me. This time I had extra motivation. I had to make it to my son’s race before it started.

So it was on.

The running went as expected. All the cover models wearing the right clothes, fancy triathlon watches and other expensive gear hauled ass at the sound of the starter’s pistol. By mile two, me and my Costco t-shirt and shorts made our way passed them.

I was doing well. I thought I got this! I made it to the bike transition, no worries. And then about five minutes into the ride, it happened. Plan B provided me with good writing material.

I mean how could I not write about how I almost fell off the bike and ate it because my dude actually did something nice for me. How does something nice go bad? When it’s too nice. He washed the bike the day before, but washed it so well that all the oil practically came off the chain, which then caused the chain to get jammed as I tried to shift gears. It was in a serious state of adhesion. I mean if I went up or down Devil’s Canyon like that, it would have been IT for me. Call the ambulance.

Yeah...this is where it happened. But no pictures of Angie as we were both in a hurry to get on with the race.

Yeah…this is where it happened. You notice how there is no one around … that’s because they all passed me. But no time for pictures with Angie as we were both in a hurry to get on with the race.

Luckily it happened early on. And I guess if it wasn’t for Plan B I wouldn’t have been reminded of random acts of kindness.

I didn’t even know her, but there she was … my savior wearing aqua blue nylon running shorts, a white breathable cotton tank top, shades,  and sporting the 166 ink on her triceps.

Angie. Oh Angie. My savior. Miss 166.

Since everyone was zooming passed me without giving me a second glance I thought I would jog with my bike to the water station and hopefully one of the sheriffs or volunteers would help fix the chain. You know, help me get back on track, because my grease stained hands were making no progress. But on my way there, I ran across Angie, who opened up her MacGyver tool belt to help me. I’m not mechanically inclined, so I had no idea how to unstick a jammed bicycle chain. But apparently  the “right way” was easier than the 15-minute method I tried.

But nevertheless Angie and I persevered. I gave her a Woo-Hoo high-five and promised to buy her a cold one once the race was done.

Triathlon 008

Devil’s Canyon … The Beginning

This 15-minute pit stop allowed for a lot of people to pass me, including some Cha-Cha girls in pink. It felt like last place had my name on it. However, this little setback inspired  a comeback. But I was a little worried because I hadn’t even encountered my nemesis yet: Devil’s Canyon.

However, setbacks have a way of pushing you so that you make it to the top, even without your Gatorade, which happened to spill everywhere during your pit stop. This setback pushed me to race up Devil’s Canyon in all gears — no stopping this time. And as I passed all the bikers walking up the crazy hill all I could think was … Yoga, you rock! My back made it.

As I reached the top I was so happy to see Harold The Rotary Club volunteer handing out water. I think everyone was happy when they saw Harold and not just because of the water. Harold meant the end of Devil’s Canyon.

After this sweet victory I could tell I was on empty and in desperate need of a banana or orange. So I zoomed down because I knew something would be waiting for me when I hit the transition area. As I approached I noticed the wall clock … I had ten minutes before my son’s race. And so when I dove into the pool it hadn’t even occurred to me to remove my trusty non-waterproof, non-water resistant Canon Powershot.

No it hadn’t occurred to me. All I was thinking about was my son’s starting line.

So after 25 meters in the pool it was done for, in truth after one meter it was done for, resting in peace. All I could do was take it out of my pocket, put it on the pool deck, and just keep swimming. The lifeguard assured me that it happened often, however I didn’t see any other water-soaked cameras dripping dry.

But regardless of my camera’s demise the swimming happened to be the best part that day. I wasn’t Michael Phelps, but I made it through without having to stop. The backstroke rocks. I know normal people enjoy freestyle, but as you all know backwards is the way to go for me.

However the best part … the best part of the whole day was not conquering Devil’s Canyon or crossing the finish line. I know I had made it and it felt good. But no that wasn’t it. The highlight of the day was watching my son cross the starting line. It was cheering him on as I ran alongside him. It was helping him during the bike transition and having him tell me “I got this mom,” as he pedaled away. It was helping him be the best Aquaman he could be in the pool. It was seeing his smile as he sprinted across the finish line. It was the hug and the high-five that I gave him as he got his medal.

Yeah … these were definitely cart-wheel worthy kind of moments that lasted all day.

 

The Tiny Tots take off ... my son included.

The Tiny Tots take off and I was so glad my son was able to avoid the 7-child pile up that happened right at the starting line. After a fall like that a few of the kids decided not to continue.

 

In deep waters he decides to have a pit stop. The wall a perfect place.

In deep waters he decides to have a pit stop. The wall a perfect place.

 

Running towards the finish line.

Running towards the finish line.

 

The Little Champion

The Little Champion … crossed off another item from his Sandbox List Adventures.

 

Happiness Project Update 23: Extending Deadlines and Plan B

7 Mar

During my whole Happiness Project quest there were a lot of truths I had to come clean about in order to make this project work. One of the things I had to let go of was My List. At one point or another, everyone has a list. You know, the By-The-Time-I’m-at-a-Certain-Age List I should be at Point X in my life.

Image via happiness-project.com

Image via happiness-project.com

Yeah that’s the one.

I made the list as a way of giving myself a deadline. You’re supposed to be filled with certain milestones every decade, right? 20, 30, 40? It gave me something to strive for, to work for, to reach for, but when I didn’t get where I was supposed to be, well what was I supposed to do?  Stuff my face with chocolate? Yes. Definitely yes. But why the disappointment? I should have accounted for some setbacks, right?

Here’s the thing. I didn’t think I was going to fail, so when I did I thought holy crap, what should I do now? Couldn’t do anything but let go. And dude that was hard. I turned 30 and that was that. There were a few items left on the list. Unfinished. I hadn’t made the deadline, and letting go of it made me feel like a failure. This is where the chocolate came into play. The disappointment of not completing My List by 30, probably gave birth to my love affair with chocolate, which I guess was a nice silver lining.

But as I continued reading the Happiness Project I realized that I didn’t really have to let go of My List, I just had to extend the deadline. We get extensions all the time, why not on this, right? I mean for people who get it all done by 30, 35, or 40 well woo-hoo and great for you. But for the rest of us there’s Plan B — The Extension. Now some people may look down on it. So there are times when you get down on the dumps, because you hear all these stories of people getting to Point X a lot sooner than they originally planned. No extension needed. But then I saw this commercial and it gave me hope. I thought dude … it’s on. I mean I’m not close to 50, but it’s still on.

 

 

I could still chase those same goals and those same dreams, I could still pursue my passions, and probably experience all kinds of adventures in the process. But I’d still be able to cross off items from The List. It would just take a little longer. Passion doesn’t run out. It’s still beating inside you, like a heartbeat. The only difference is that I would no longer follow the blueprints from my original plan. I’d have to take on an alternate route. A Plan B. But just because it’s Plan B, doesn’t make it any less of a woo-hoo moment. A woo-hoo is a woo-hoo no matter what the timeline. Realizing that there would still be high-fives and chocolate waiting for me made it a little easier to feel less crappy about not completing the 30s List. This just meant that my 40s and 50s list would be more rewarding, more adventurous and requiring more Glucosamine.

 

Plan B Urban Adventure

28 Dec

You’d think once you were connected to a person through blood or marriage that it would mean something, right. You’re family. You’re bonded. You’re interlinked. You wouldn’t necessarily get shafted. Especially during the holidays, right? With all that ho-ho-ho and Merry Christmas and Season’s Greetings oozing out of people.

Not true.

At any age, and in my case, with any relationship it still happens. Hard to believe that someone of my George Costanza caliber would get the shaft. But yeah it’s true.

And I guess the normal reaction would be disappointment, anger, or disbelief at the WTF just happened moment. I mean you’re tied and bonded to this person right? So during this Christmas vacation when everyone is free and available to hang out why wouldn’t you assume that when someone has plans to go to the snow, to a parade, to an amusement park, to a light festival or to something involving fun, you’d think the ‘wanna come?’ was implied. You’re interlinked, right? You’re family right? Am I right? Am I right?

Dude … I was so wrong.

‘Twas the night before The Shaft and as they were making their plans I thought to myself … yeah I need to pick the clothes out the night before and wake up early the next morning to pack the kids their snack. I even charged the camera battery.

But as I awoke in the morning all I heard was the front screen door slamming shut. I looked around no one was home. Just me and the kids … still in our PJs.

Burn.

We could’ve wallowed all day with Nickelodeon, but instead I made plans for our own urban adventure … no snow, no parade, no amusement park, no light festival. Just us … Guat Party of Three enjoying a crisp Southern California winter day at 61 degrees with the sun shining.

Destination?

 

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The famous pits.

 

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Ready to check out some fossils.

The Biggest fossils we encountered.

The biggest fossils we encountered.

 

Checking out evolution. My son thought these were pretty cool, his sister was only interested in the Ritz crackers in her hand.

Checking out evolution. My son thought these were pretty cool, his sister however was only interested in the Ritz Crackers in her hand.

 

My son enjoyed his paleontologist moment.

My son enjoyed his paleontologist moment.

 

Checking out the real deal.

Checking out the real deal … where my son tapped on the glass, smiled, and then decided to loudly introduce himself, and say “I like your fossils.”

 

A reenactment of the past ... to which my son replied ... "wow he was very hungry mom."

A re-enactment of the past … to which my son replied … “wow he was very hungry mom,” to which my daughter replied “Raaaaaawr.”

 

After all those fossils and deathly carnage scenes we decided to check out the outdoor exhibits.

After all those fossils and deathly carnage scenes, we decided to check out the outdoor exhibits.

 

It was a good day for Operation We Got Shafted Better Get Out of The House and Do Something Awesome.

It was a good day for Operation We Got Shafted Better Get Out of The House and Do Something Awesome Plan B.

 

 

We found "dinosaur" footprints and decided to investigate.

We found “dinosaur” footprints and decided to investigate.

 

My daughter got a little crazy, so her big brother stepped in to save the day.

My daughter got a little crazy, so her big brother stepped in to save the day.

 

We finally made it to the famous Pit 91, where we found out that the tar was not hot, the pit was 15-feet deep, and no dinosaur bones were found in these pits, mostly dire wolves.

We finally made it to the famous Pit 91 and Project 23, where we found out that the tar was not hot, that Pit 91 was 15-feet deep, and that no dinosaur bones were found in these pits, mostly dire wolves.

 

After all that walking and all those discoveries it was time to go back home.

After all that walking and all those discoveries it was time to go back home.

 

However on our way back to the car we took a detour to the museum next door.

However on our way back to the car we took a detour to the art museum next door.

 

My kids decided to be "hands-on" experts with the outdoor exhibit. I decided to join in.

My kids decided to be “hands-on” experts with the outdoor exhibit. I decided to join in.

 

After our art detour, we decided to finally head home. But not before we did some rolling down grassy hills. Something that's been on my son's "sandbox bucket list" for a while. An awesome ending to our Plan B Urban Adventure.

After our art detour, we decided to finally head home. But not before we did some rolling down grassy hills. Something that’s been on my son’s “sandbox bucket list” for a while. An awesome ending to our Plan B Urban Adventure.

 

Being shafted still sucked, but after this day … not as bad.