The pre-race assist.
The new swim buoys...excellent!
Peter was this age when he discovered triathlon.
The hand-off with the great mentor and relay partner, JD
The happenings on a school bus have a way of getting to the core of why middle school has the reputation for being cruel. It doesn’t matter what generation you’re from, whether you’re from a good neighborhood or a rough one, the bus ride can make or break a kid. The kid on the losing end usually doesn’t say much about it. Good thing he talks to his sister. So when she told me there was some tripping and some insults thrown at her kid brother, I sat and listened. I would try to remember how I dealt with this scenario when I was a kid. I was soon realizing that my son and I have shared some similar experiences. To this day, I still remember “Dogface”, the girl who with the help of her super evil twin made 6th grade miserable. God only knows why they knew hatred so well. Pete seems to have met Dogface’s kids, Cain and Abel. You wonder what stirs such animosity in children? Since Peter doesn’t know these kids at all, my guess was that they see him running and riding to school and just view him as different (oh the shame). At the same age, I had begun rowing, something no one in my middle school even knew existed. Anyone with half a pea-brain was positive that I was without a doubt, a freak. Even if I was a freak, I didn’t care. Most of the people I would train with at the boathouse were 20 years older than me. They were my protectors and confidantes. In my pigtails they saw potential, as I would hoist my boat into the Long Island Sound. They inspired me every day and took me under their wings. As I grew up, Dogface became just a lurking shadow that could never catch me. Tonight, we traveled to a triathlon that Peter has called his home since he was a baby. Now he races and has graduated from pushing sand on the beach to pushing gears on his bicycle. The bulk of the athletes that surround him are more than 20 years older than him. They protect him, cheer him on, and make him feel like there is no other place in the world he’d rather be. And while the Dogface’s of the world wait to prey on him, he has already left them in the dust, and they don’t even realize it. The smile he wears proves it.
Dad leads by example.
I was a bit off my own game tonight and got more blurry shots than I would like to admit to. One of those included a photo of Bill Honeck, the race organizer. He is a great mentor to Pete and friend to so many. Thanks for years of fun at the races and for making this sport a great place to grow up.