Sunday, August 29, 2010

What Will You Be Doing When You Are 83 Years Young?

Last Friday Alicia picked me up at the airport in Grand Rapids after I returned form instructing at the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. This was my second year as an instructor and enjoyed discussing elements of social media with bankers from all over the Midwest. We headed north to stay at my grandparent's house in Pentwater, MI and I was going to compete in the Light House Triathlon in Ludington, just a few miles north of where they live.

As a side-note, this is a build-up event for my big race coming up on September 12th at Cedar Point. I'm racing a "half-iron distance" triathlon to raise money to fight childhood cancer. This started several years ago when I raced the Lumberjack 100, but now moved on to triathlons. Here's my shameless plea for a donation to help support my effort. You donation is tax deductible and is for a great cause supporting the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation, the disease that took my good friend and inspiration, Christi Thomas. You can DONATE NOW and please tell your friends to help spread the word...

It had been a while since we had been to my grandparents (too long, actually) and I am reminded of how fortunate I am to still have a full set of grandparents here to spend time with. Both my grandma and grandpa are always "doing something" and on the go, which is why I think they have been able to remain in such good health. My grandpa, in particular, is a gadget guy and I got to see one of his latest gadgets in action.

While I'm not exactly sure of the "real name" of this machine, he affectionately refers to it as the "Kitty Cat". Basically, it's a modified Bobcat with a MadMax like device of destruction affixed to the front and he sits in an air-conditioned (and bullet proof) cockpit to operate it. As you can see from the video below, this thing will pretty much mulch up anything that stands in it's way, including small trees and grind them right down to nothing.



This was his present to himself for his 80th birthday and today, at 83, he's still going strong. Whether he's clearing brush with the "Kitty Cat", fishing on Lake Michigan or hunting wild pigs in Florida (where they winter, of course), he's one active guy. So, as I celebrate a successful triathlon and a feeling of accomplishment for my 1000m swim, 40k bike and 10k run... I'm hopeful that when I am 83 I'm just as active as grandpa. While I may not be competing in triathlons any longer, hopefully I'm still enjoying life and having fun.


Time for a quick picture with Alicia before the start.


Headed out on the bike. See you in 26 miles...


Finishing in 2:33:44.


Time for a kiss from my honey. Good day!
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