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August 10, 1997

Human Plunger

I was depressed about my marriage and not being able to change it, mostly because Miimii didn't seem to care any more. Any time I'd mention counseling or fixing our problems or just, God forbid, going out and spending some money and having a good time together she'd tell me maybe I needed to get a girlfriend or she'd threaten divorce or something to that effect, so I kept silent. We had money, and we could make time to be together. She wouldn't answer me when I ask what the problem was--she kept blaming it on my sister being pregnant. But these confrontations were rare. I just didn't want her to scream at me again. Because my sister was pregnant, her life was hell? It was my family's fault? My family always loved her, even after. I secretly wished she'd die so I'd be let out of the marriage agreement without being an evil person. I was healthy, handsome, energetic, 31 years old, living in my own tomb and dying a slow emotional death. Surely God would have mercy on me.

One Saturday night before I went to Texas, I sat alone in our townhouse. Miimii had gone to bed early again because she was tired, from work, from life, anything. I was so alone I cried silently for a few minutes, and then walked upstairs to my unconscious wife. My time in San Angelo was nice, peaceful, introspective. There was a Bee Gees song I'd recently learned called,"Don't Want to Live Inside Myself". It was soooo the way I felt at that time. But I hoped the time apart would refresh us, like the vacation together was supposed to.

I'd never entertained the thought of having an affair, although at this point it would have really hit the spot, and the women at work were pretty, and very nice to me. If I felt attracted to someone at work I'd ignore her, except for Amanda. I had no choice--I was her boss. Ignoring her was not an option. And there was more: We were good friends, and Miimii liked her. I just became the perfectly loyal husband, but it was becoming more difficult to be me.

The first week in San Angelo I spoke to a Captain, a classmate who said he was competing in the Wool Capital Triathlon in San Angelo. I'd been so upset over my marriage recently that I'd seriously considered quitting racing, so I hadn't trained for anything, or even entered a swimming pool (my weakness) in over three years. It seemed crazy enough, so I gave it a try. The swim was 1 mile, the bicycle race was 25 miles, and the run was 6.2 miles.

I got murdered! My finishing time was 2hours, 48 minutes, and I only placed 103rd out of 165 starters (15 didn't finish). The one-mile swim took 47 minutes, 12 1/2 minutes off my best time (which, in iteself, was unimpressive) and my captain friend finished the swim 15 minutes faster than I did! We swam in Lake Nasworthy (nicknamed Lake Nasty-Water). It was so dirty, rumor was that one time, the lake actually caught on fire. I ran out of the water with various forms of fish fesis hanging from me, and petroleum residue absorbed into my skin. One of the nice things about triathlons is you don't have to worry about urinating before the start, because it starts in a lake, nature's toilet. I could drink as much as I desired before the start--I had 47 minutes to empty my bladder...ahhh...the memories. Fish got it good.

In the bicycle race, I made up 15 minutes on my captain friend in the first six miles! I didn't know bicycles had a reverse gear but I think his did. Apparently he was a one-trick pony (I had two tricks). I felt good in the bicycle ride. Then I choked in the run because it was so incredibly hot that day. One of my tricks had just gone up in flames.

The run was off-road and led up and over a punishing set of hills. As the day's heat set in and reflected off the red clay soil, many runners were forced to walk the last few miles. I stopped many many times to cool off and just about crawled to the finish. It was a good experiment though, and I beat my Captain friend by almost two hours. He came in so late, he wasn't listed as a finisher. Here I am finishing, wearing my rainbow jersey which I designed and had made in Korea in 1989. These photos were shot by an old friend from Tech School (1985) name Lou. He was in Texas at the same time and came to the race to watch me get bonked. Lou was completely hairless, so when we were in Tech School in Denver, we used to call him "Mr. Clean". Lou was a a great guy.

Mister I want to shake your hand...you are the worst swimmer I've ever seen>>>