- Boot Camp
"If you just try long enough and hard enough, you
can always manage to boot yourself in the posterior."
- A. J. Liebling
Andy Pettitte is a New York Yankee pitcher who
took a year off from playing baseball and came
out of retirement this year, because he had to.
A few days ago, Pettitte injured his ankle. He will
have to wear a therapeutic boot for the next six
weeks in order to heal his foot and pitch again.
Pettitte is an old man at age 40; an age in which
most baseball superstars stay retired. for now, he
is on the 60-day disabled list.
I have a similar boot. It is manufactured by Ovation.
In late April of 2012, I injured my right ankle. An
MRI indicated severe muscular injuries including a
tear to my talofibular ligament.
I was given the same rehabilitation remedy as Pettitte:
wear a boot for the six week period after the injury.
I imagine that Pettitte is taking his doctor's advice.
June has ended, and I wore that boot for two full days.
On May 5th, I had the fatherly obligation of walking
my daughter Lizzy down the aisle as she married the love
of her life, Justin. I figured that after the aisle walk
and fatherly dance, how could I ignore a coming Ironman
triathlon in which I would swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles,
and then run a 2.2 mile marathon? On June 11th, I lectured
to a few vegetarian groups in Hawaii, and hobbled through
my entire eight-day trip. I did get one opportunity to
swim a fraction of a mile on Waikiki beach in Honolulu
thanks to a very dear friend, Patrick Moore, who paddled
his surfboard a few yards from me.
Three weeks from today, I am scheduled to compete in
an Ironman Triathlon in Lake Placid, New, York. I
should have been resting with my foot in the boot,
but at the ripe old age of 61, I am driven.
There is pain, but I have been getting through daily
bike rides of 25-30 miles. I lack the strength to get
up Adirondack mountain hills, but perhaps in these
next three weeks, that indispensable power will return.
I will begin with a 2.4 mile swim. I have been swimming
one mile each day in my gym pool, and without kicking,
will complete the Lake Placid swim. After running
the quarter-mile transition, I will then attempt the
112 milke bike ride. Will I succeed? Today, I do not
know, but I will set up my bike in the transition area,
and I will try.
This coming Thursday, I plan a long weekend trip to
Montauk, New York where I intend to bike 80 miles per
day, if I can. The bike rides will be enhanced by
swims in the Atlantic Ocean at Hither Hills campground.
Pettite wears his boot like a 40-year-old wise man. I
am finished with the boot and will hopefullY be able
to work through the pain.
In a few weeks, I will have my race number and
you will be able to follow my July 22nd effort
live on the Internet.
The day before the July 22nd triathlon, I will pay
my $800 fee to register for the 2013 event.
"What would life be if we had no
courage to attempt anything?"
- Vincent van Gogh