Not the Greatest Off-Season

2007_Winter_Break 018 I have a pretty bad sinus infection.  I went to the doc yesterday after a restless night at a friends house in Honolulu.  The doc (Dr. Dang, who I used to coach on Team Jet) gave me some nasal spray to treat it. Then I showed him where I stepped on a thorn at the beach the other day, and he said, "uh, that looks infected."  What a mess. I’m now on antibiotics, nasal spray and allergy medication for the next week. I hate drugs, I normally avoid even taking Advil.  Oh well, I came into Honolulu last night and stayed with some friends in town. It’s far less windy there, so I was able to enjoy the sun a bit more. I went shopping, hung out at the beach, and savored a summer roll at Down To Earth, which is like a smaller far more expensive version of whole foods.

2007_Winter_Break 048This morning we got up really early to go ride our bikes up a ridge for the sunrise.  My friend  Kurt took pictures of my coach, Dr. Michael McMahon, his other Amateur World Champion athlete, Marion Summerer (She was the top amateur at XTerra World Champs this year), and myself. How many coaches can boast that they’ve coached an Olympic Gold Medalist, and two other World Champions? I guess that’s why we love Dr. Mike.

The ridge we climbed up was just above the house where they filmed Magnum PI. We could see the tennis courts, but I was not happy about leaning that far over the edge.2007_Winter_Break 049

Here’s a bit more about the town of Kailua: The house I’m staying at with Coach Mike is on Kailua Bay, which is the Islands premier Kite Boarding destination.  There have been no less than a dozen kites on the water at any point in the six days I’ve been here.  The 15 to 20 mph trade winds, plus the shape of the beach make it a safe place to learn in consistent conditions.  It’s where I learned (though I still need to perfect my riding ability), and right now I’m wishing my kite wasn’t sitting in a closet in Seattle begging to be used. If you haven’t done it before, Kite Boarding is like wakeboarding, only image instead of a boat on flat water, you have a kite on rough water.  You steer the kite, and it carries you across the water, into the air, through the surf, and back to the beach.  Or you crash the kite, and the current sweeps you away to sea while you frantically try a deep water relaunch. The only reason deep water relaunches are possible is because the kite has inflatable tubes instead of sticks. So it floats.  The sport’s a blast. If you’re ever someplace where you have a chance to take a lesson, do it. My mom even learned how to fly the kite in an hour long lesson, and she’s never done anything similar.

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Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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