Transition

7 September, 2014        Transition 

This little mid-August to mid-September gap has always been a slow one for me, except for my birthday on the 23rd. This is the first time since 2002 that I haven’t been training for an Ironman and it’s a bit directionless. Ironman training is very, very structured and highly goal oriented and focused. Every day you know what you have to do and every day you have to do a lot. Now I’m reorienting myself. When I titled this blog post “Transition” I was thinking of the transition between summer and fall. As I sit down to write I’m also feeling the transition of going from the demands of training to different demands. It’s fun and intellect-stretching but takes a little getting used to. It feels good to grow.

 

The pictures didn’t come in thick and fast this week but I took a handful I enjoyed. I hope you will too. And fortunately Evelyn contributed a couple of beauties. On Monday I unexpectedly found myself with the entire day off. Pat and I rode our bicycles to Owens Creek Corner Store in Louisa, a 45 mile loop. Long rides are my favorite thing about Ironman training and they’re what I miss most. So it was good to start September with a few hours on the bike. Did you know – this is true, you can ask any serious long-distance athlete – that chocolate milk is without parallel as a recovery drink? It’s true. This is all the reward I need for three hours on the bike:

I'll ride any distance to find an ice cold chocolate milk at the end.

I’ll ride any distance to find ice cold chocolate milk at the end.

 We made it to the river moderately early the next morning; late summer/early fall is always nice:

Ev says they all look the same. Maybe. I never tire.

Ev says they all look the same. Maybe. I never tire. 

Ev had been with friends at the beach for the weekend and didn’t come back until Tuesday morning herself. She took these two pictures just before she headed back here. My personal jury is still out on whether the beach or the river is more beautiful. Look for yourself:

That color and texture I'll admit are hard to beat

That color and texture I’ll admit are hard to beat

I think the thing with beautiful scenes is, they come in an infinite # of flavors. This is another. Thanks Ev!

I think the thing with beautiful scenes is, they come in an infinite # of flavors. This is another. Thanks Ev!

That lava colored sky is hard to compete with. Living in Virginia is hard to compete with. One more contestant from here in Richmond, same spectacular morning:

There's enough beauty to go around. As it turns out.

There’s enough beauty to go around. As it turns out. 

Once Ev mentioned that those pictures all look the same and they do, in their way, and that’s part of the beauty. Another part of the beauty is that it doesn’t always look that way – that’s just when I get the most pictures. That is a west-facing shot and if I went down there in the evening you’d see a sunset. I just like mornings better. I’ve also been there a number of times when if I stood in the spot where I took that picture, the water would be three feet deep over my head.

 

I did manage to get Mackey and Turner to stop for a moment one morning:

Mackey and Turner changing up the river view a bit.

Mackey and Turner changing up the river view a bit.

I saw a Green Heron mid-river on Thursday just before noon. They’re normally shy birds and in my experience stay in the shadows. But this guy was right out on the rocks. I refer to him as a guy but gender wise they’re difficult to distinguish. Like Canada geese. I took two reasonable pictures but I was not close:

I just like the privilege of even seeing these birds.

I just like the privilege of even seeing these birds.

This bird is worth two pictures; it's a treat

This bird is worth two pictures; it’s a treat

I don’t like to reuse pictures on my blog but I put this one up last May (2013) and it’s one of my favorite pictures ever. It’s not crisp but it’s a gorgeous picture. I love how primitive and wild it looks – and it was taken in 2013 inside Richmond city limits. We’re so fortunate to live here. This looks like the Amazon or as if it’s from the Paleolithic era:

It's hard not to like this picture. For me anyway. Look at that gaze and those feet and that background.

It’s hard not to like this picture. For me anyway. Look at that gaze and those feet and that background.

I’ll close with a picture of a zinnia that Ev planted beside our driveway. I took this picture Friday morning but it looks just as beautiful today. Orange was my dad’s favorite color and I think of him whenever I look at this:

Simply wonderful

Simply wonderful

More next week. I’ve had the great good fortune to begin work on a grant that’s taking up some of my free time now that I’m not training. Helping me find some much-needed balance. I hope you’re finding balance too!

 

Have a great week,

 

Jay

 

About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Birds, Dogs, Endurance, Flowers, Fun, Rivers, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Transition

  1. jude mclaughlin says:

    Wonderful pics Also enjoyed the text about the difference not training makes, but you always have a productive substitute.

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