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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Montana December 2008 Part 4

I was exuberant and already looking forward to coming back as I packed to go home.On the way to the airport I told Doug there was no t an appendage that didn’t have a bruise. He chuckled and told me Melanie and her girlfriend used to compare bruises when they were training to run the Iditarod. One bruise in particular was ominous and would prove to be a harbinger of things to come. It was forming over the anterior of my right shoulder, chest wall and armpit.

Rock City Festival of Lights at Christmas
Between work, spending time with the family and shopping for Christmas, I managed to find a personal trainer and get a fitness exam. I was out of shape. While getting examined, my bruises were quite obvious and I told him that I hoped he would be easier on me than the last one was. He looked at me and said, “Good Lord man, what did he have you do, pull stumps with your teeth?”  I explained that I was training to run the Iditarod and he was genuinely interested. The training paid off  and the change was obvious when I returned to Montana. As I continued training the changes would become less obvious. Melanie had told me to keep a training journal and this proved valuable. Melanie’s first entry had been, “Doug Swingley is an asshole.” Her last entry was, “Doug Swingley is still an asshole.” In between she had documented how he had taught her and caused her to improve in skill and fitness. Doug had warned me that he would be yelling at me a lot and by the second year, I would be looking forward to the Iditarod just to get away from his yelling. I heard Doug’s voice in my head while I was home always telling   to get in shape and watch what I ate. One night I was feeling particularly guilty because he had told me to look at a bowl of ice cream and put it away and here I was putting it away into my mouth. He just smiled when I got back and told him about it.

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