Swing like a Chimp

The days have been blurring together since I got back to town from Uncle Carl’s on the North Shore. On my way home, I was planning to take a bus, then hitch a ride the 8 miles from Honolulu to Hawaii Kai, but I was lucky enough to see my uncle”s good friend Brian who let me borrow a spare car for a few days.

I rolled into Hawaii Kai Wednesday night, and started scheduling and scheming. The options presented to me were suddenly beyond what I had imagined in my auto-less vision of life in Hawaii Kai. The essentials had to be taken care of first: my bike needed tools and a bike rack, which meant swinging by the new Triathlon shop in town, Momentum Multisport, where my friendly mechanic Tom now works. Next, I had to see if I could find a good deal on a surf style button-up shirt. They’re nearly impossible to find in Seattle, and hard to miss in Hawaii, so I was headed to the mall for after Christmas sales. The mall was next to the beach, so I could do an open water swim, and Ala Moana Beach Park was close to the freeway so I could head get back without too much traffic.  It all went smoothly, except I had a little bruise to my ego at the beach. I did one lap of the beach, a length each way, which is close to 2km, on the way back another swimmer caught and passed me. I wasn’t going hard when he caught me, but I tried like hell to keep up, and in about 300 meters he completely wore me out.  I hate the off-season, it makes me feel so out of shape..

image I got back from my adventures just in time to see Adam heading out the door with a golf bag. It was dark out, which made me question the legality of his intentions, but I hopped in the car without question.  It turns out the driving range has lights, and costs next to nothing to hit your fill of balls.  My fill was pretty small considering I swing a golf club like a chimpanzee, and the frustration of being terrible has a snowballing effect.  I started off hitting a ball 300 yards and finished struggling to hit the ball past the 100.  It’s hard to have patience for a sport you not only don’t play, but don’t intend to pick up.  Here’s a short list of things I’d rather do: kite boarding, rock climbing, bass fishing, or a good game of marbles. Actually, as far as recreation goes I would take knitting over golf. The Havrilak’s on the other hand, hold golf as a sacred path to spiritual enlightenment.  They have been glued to the golf network for “Tiger Week”, and have insisted that Tiger Woods is not just the best golfer in history (I’m not contesting that), but that he is the best athlete in American History. Bob related him to what you would get if Michael Phelps, Mark Spits,and Ian Thorpe’s talents were added together. “What Tiger has image done to the sport has changed it forever. They haven’t changed swimming events because of Phelps, but they’ve built new golf courses because of Tiger.” — True — But Tiger only wins 75% of his races. Michael Phelps probably sets World Records in 75% of his races.  “Tiger spends more than twice the time training as any swimmer, or runner.” — True — Non-athletic events don’t require as much recovery time. It’s the age old question: Does a skill game qualify as a sport?  I say yes. It’s a competition, and I tend to agree with ESPN that if it’s a competition, then it’s a sport. I just think it’s a boring sport, and there’s no way to compare Tiger to the purists, Phelps, Prefontaine, or Armstrong.

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[Photo: I haven’t had a chance to download the pictures from the last few days, so I’m throwing in some random shots I took in the first part of my trip.  This is Trish picking out a Pineapple. Apparently you are supposed to pull a leaf out of the top, and if it comes out easily, then the fruit is ripe.]

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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