Thursday, October 01, 2009

Open mouth, insert toes

For one of our practice rides in Wisconsin, we wanted to simulate what we'd be doing on race day but were having trouble figuring out how we got from the transition area to the main road. We came across a very friendly couple who were able to help us. She was on the organizing committee or something like that for Ironman Wisconson. I'm not sure if she worked for Ironman or the City of Madison, but she knew her stuff.

During our chat she asked Steve how many Ironmans he did. Steve said that this would be the second one for each of us. Now here's where it gets fuzzy; it's uncertain who she was addressing when she replied "oh, it looks like you've done a lot of them." Was she referring to Steve specifically? Or to the group as a whole? I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader.

I don't remember if she said she was a former triathlete or not, but Steve told her "you should do the race!" She said "I can't, I have bad feet." Steve, ever-so-supportive-and-encouraging, said "we all have bad feet. And bad knees, bad legs..." She replied "I don't have any toes."

Now this got our minds racing with all sorts of questions. The most obvious being "lady, what happened to your toes?" Then of course you wonder what kind of effect not-having-toes would have on doing a triathlon. Swimming's not a problem, you could probably ride a bike, but what about running? I assume you'd be forgiven for having a heel-strike stride.

Normally it might be awkward coming up with a response after someone tells you they have no toes. But her husband spared us any awkward silence by whipping out his iPhone so he could show us a picture of his wife's foot. I cannot tell you WHY he keeps the photo on his phone, nor why he shows it to strangers, but he was all-too-excited to show us.

To be honest I wasn't sure what I was looking at. There was a foot, and there were toes, but there were pins sticking out of each toe with a large ball on the end of each one. He explained what happened to her toes but it was all a blur to me. It was just one of those things where even if we didn't understand it, that would be OK.

Somehow we got the conversation off of her missing toes and back to Ironman. We thanked them for their great mid-western hospitality and were on our way.

Everybody has a story to tell. If you're not careful, they might tell it to you.


Blogger SWTrigal said...

I am laughing so hard! Is that bad?

10:25 AM  

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