Saturday, 27 December 2008

It's perhaps the scariest gift I've ever received

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!  

Our Christmas was very quiet and intimate.  It was very different than the past ones too in that our daughter continues to grow and thrive, and each Christmas with her has been a wonderful surprise.  My wife brought in the new tradition of The Christmas Fairy early on which planted the Christmas seed early, bringing crafts, cookies and 4.5yr old unbridled excitement.  We had a sing-along at school, and got sugary making our first ever gingerbread house (another new tradition).  And on Christmas morning, the level of excitement and joy in our daughter reached a new height - it was so precious to see true, honest-to-goodness excitement flow out of her like that.  It's true what they say - Christmas really is for the kids.

We had Christmas dinner and some wild outdoor playtime with good friends of ours, which rounded out the rest of the day wonderfully.  I ate a lot, drank nearly as much, and got very sore and tired flinging the kids on the ice and snow (and letting them push me around too).

The gifts between my wife and I were few, but very well thought out and meaningful.  We tend to give each other the stuff we want through the year, and we hate to waste money on stuff we don't need, so we're more than happy with our stockings again this year.  Our daughter is the one that gets spoiled, and we used this year to truly foster the spirit of St. Nick in her.  There were a few key things that she "needed" Santa to bring, and bring it he did!  Our mission was successfully completed!

Boxing Day was spent relaxing in the morning and doing a bit of shopping in the afternoon (getting those last few trinkets and toys, of course).  I got pants, my wife got a sweater, and my daughter got a remote-controlled helicopter and submarine.  

I continue to get an expanding waistline.  :)

And then my wife came up with the laptop and said I had to finish filling something out.  Here's the end result of that:
Yes, that's right - I am registered for the 2009 Ironman Lottery Program!!!  I'm freaked out and super-excited all at the same time!

For those that are not familiar with this lottery, here's how it goes.  The Ironman World Championships are in Kona, Hawaii, and you must either earn a slot or win one through the lottery.  There are 200 slots held for the lottery - 150 for U.S. folks, and 50 for international entrants.  If you win a slot, you can race at the World Championships with everyone else.

So why is this scary?  Only because it's tough.  The ocean swim is tough (and no wetsuits allowed).  The bike and run portions are hot, windy and relentless.  At the 2008 race, the temperatures peaked at 42C in the Energy Lab. And the trade winds are always relentless, with people getting blown over off their bikes.  Well, I'll just say it - it's bloody tough, and I question myself about being able to do it.

Which is precisely why I do want to do it.

And let's face it - it would be one gift that I'd never forget.  :)

Merry Christmas everyone!  And we'll see you in the new year!

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