Camp

June 28, 2008

A while back I got an email from Elizabeth asking if I wanted to go and stay with her for a week in the summer.  Even though we’ve never met, that’s not an especially odd invitation except that she added in a part about us doing some training together.  I nearly choked.  Elizabeth is a professional triathlete.  I am not.  But I barely hesitated.  If she’s insane enough to invite me, I’m insane enough to go.

Oh, and Beth will be there.

Oh crap.  Now I’m screwed.  Beth is a runner with a mean bike ride.  Elizabeth is a cyclist with a mean run.  At least I can swim faster than them.  That’s something, anyway.

And Jen will be joining us for some of it.

Shit.  Jen does 100s leaving on the 1:10.  I’m screwed.

Is there anything I can do better than these girls?  Well, putt putt for sure, but I think that’s going to be a small portion of the week.  I think maybe I can trash talk better than any of them.  Which has a lot less value if you can’t back it up with performance, which in this case I cannot.

But let’s be honest.  I’m not going to camp to see if I can do something better than they can.  I’m going to camp to learn from them.  I’m going to camp so Elizabeth can have a break from my incessant emails.  I’m going to camp for the camaraderie and inspiration.  I’m going to camp to get away from work.  I’m going to camp so I can to tough workouts and then absorb the workouts and recover instead of going about my busy day.

There are already things I know about these girls that I admire:

Beth has probably one of the most well-established and comprehensive recovery routines of anyone I’ve never met.  She knows what it is to be injured and knows what it takes to stay healthy.  And unlike so many of us, Beth actually implements these things while maintaining a partnership and having a job.  I am fascinated to watch this woman in action.

Jen has an unparalleled inner drive to be better and faster.  Not only is she really intense, but from my time with her in Vancouver I saw a quiet nurturing side too, which was both unexpected and beautiful.  This woman balances more in an average day than most people do in a week – I’m excited to see what that looks like in her home environment.

Of the three, I know Elizabeth best because she’s my coach and we email a lot.  The funny thing about she and I is that we can email long, wordy, thoughtful emails on any day of the week without a second thought.  But put us on the phone together and it is as awkward as all get-out.  I really appreciate Elizabeth’s thoughtful nature which has really given me the space to be thoughtful and intentional in both my physical and mental training.  I suppose if it turns out to be awkward in person, we can go to separate parts of the house and email each other:

Hey, it’s great to meet you!   You’re every bit as brilliant and intelligent as you seem on email.  I’m so happy to have you here.  This is going to be an awesome week and I’m really excited about it.

Yeah, you too!  This is so cool being her for a week of training.  Your house is awesome and I love your little girl-dog.  She’s so gorgeous in her little pink sweater.  Your husband is gorgeous in his little pink sweater too.

Hey, don’t diss my dog!  He’s a boy and that sweater is RED.  Glad you like the husband.  What do you want to do today?

I don’t know.  Why don’t you ask Beth?

Okay, Beth wants to ice her limbs.

Cool.  I’m going to come into the kitchen and get some frozen vegetables and a cup of coffee and do the same.  See you in a second.

Okay.  Hey, it’s really good to meet you.

Yeah.  You too.

Several seconds later in the kitchen:

Uhh…hi.

Hi.

Are the…uhhh….vegetables in the freezer?

Yup.  You want some coffee?

Well, I don’t want to trouble you, I mean, well, I’d like some but…only if there’s some made.

I finished what was made but I’ll make more.

Oh no don’t worry.

No, I can.

No, don’t worry.

No seriously.

No, really, it’s no big deal.

[both of us retreat back to the safety of our computers]

Well, I’m sure it won’t be that bad, but Elizabeth frequently blogs at my expense so it seems only fair for me to return the favor.  And if it is that bad, there’s always Beth and Jen to communicate for us.

I’m off to put my legs up and start my camp taper.

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5 Responses to “Camp”


  1. Ness, gotta love ya! We will have so much fun! I wasn’t invited to sleep over at Elizabeth’s house for LOTS of reasons….for one, Boss snarls at me when I see HIM and second…I think Chris would rather kill himself than have me up and CHEERFUL and making everyone swim at 5am. And, I am only a mere 45-50 minutes away. 🙂 SEE YOU soon! We will have fun! Jen

  2. elizabeth Says:

    Jen you are welcome to stay at my house. Chris and I have a king sized bed. You can spoon with your two favorite athletes. Ness I will be sure the wireless connects in your room. There is a printer too so you can print e-mails to me and paper airplane them over to my bedroom. Poor Beth. Little does she know I’m going to make her eat all those vegetables before she leaves. I don’t like the phone. Never have! It just feels awkward to me to talk to someone but not see their face yet hear their voice. It’s like half the picture is missing.

  3. marit c-l Says:

    HAVE A BLAST! You’ll do great – enjoy yourself and GO GO GO! Fun times training – and STAY ON JEN’S FEET! You can do it!

  4. Beth Says:

    Um, first of all – who says YOU are the best at putt-putt? (I will definitely give you the trash talking title though… 🙂

    Anyway, unfortunately I don’t think you should rely on me for the communication. I’m good at blogs and emails but have much the same problem in person and on the phone. Maybe Jen SHOULD stay overnight… 🙂

    Can’t wait Ness!!

  5. rachel ross Says:

    LOL at the dialogue. HAVE SO MUCH FUN!


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