Thursday, July 31, 2008

Exercising with the Extended Family

Having a triathlon scheduled mid-summer is a good way to make sure that you get out and train in three sports before summer flies by. This year's event -- a Danskin sprint triathlon in Webster, Mass. -- went well except that I got a flat tire a mile into the 12-mile bike and ended up riding the flat as I wasn't prepared to change a tire. Yup, I'm married to a former bike racer and I can't change a tire. He's always the one who is prepared with the tube and the tools on our family bike rides. 

The triathlon is my one weekend away from my immediate family. I participate with my sisters and get a chance to talk to them more in those two days than I do throughout the year at various busy gatherings. One of my sisters is a breast cancer survivor and so doing the event, which raises money for breast cancer research, is a small way to honor her.

Being raised in a fit family with siblings has the benefit of meaning that later in life, you're likely to share some of the same exercise habits and so family gatherings include a hike, a run, a bike or a ski. My sister, Gretchen, told me that for her birthday this summer, her two boys (8 and 10) took her on a mountain bike ride. She said it was the best present they could give her. 

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