Monday, February 05, 2007

The Common Thread

Today, I ran into a certain short course national champion with the initials of JG. I’m no name dropper, but an initial dropper? I have no shame.

She lives nearby, works nearby but rarely do we run into each other. And so it was nice to run into each other at a store and talk about training, treadmills, computrainers, running shorts, children, workouts, work......and then conversation took a perky turn.

Although she held the short course title and I held the long course title, there was one common thread that closely tied us together. The thread that binds me, the thread that often holds me in one piece, the thread that helps me pull my daily strings. The common thread was…..

COFFEE

My ears perked up. Caffeine? Did someone just say the short course national champion is fueled by caffeine?

Proof, once again, that all good things come from coffee.

There she was, filled to the brim with remarkable talent and nationally recognized championship reign. A fiery blend of dry-roasted drive and slow-roasted success from years of hard work and training.

And also filled to the brim with one full pot of coffee. Did you expect anything less?

A self-confessed caffeine addict. Not just an addict, but really, I would even dare to say fully loaded beans overboard. That’s right, she polishes off a full pot of coffee – every day. Ounces of coffee that would make even my caffeinated cells quiver with wired wiliness. Not only a master of the short course, but master of the full pot.

I am in awe.

We started talking about coffee, all things caffeinated, creamy, sugary delights. She – taking her coffee with cream – flavored cream – and sugar – lots of sugar. Actually, Splenda. Me – taking my coffee with cream – and a splash of 2 percent milk – and cinnamon – lots of cinnamon. Both of us, united in competing for the red, white, and blue. But not before we have the dark, hot, and good.

The conversation buzzed with a zippy energy like only a good coffee talk could. Like a percolator sitting on a stove bubbling up until finally the brown liquid bounces up. There we were, words bouncing up and down with our minds trying to keep up as the coffee talk started pouring out.

Her pot began perking for coffee only several years ago. A neophyte if you will who found that a desk job required the only legal desk drug – caffeine. From there, it was a cup, maybe two, maybe three, maybe four. Somehow today taking on a fully loaded pot for herself. She mentioned that her mother had spent the night recently and – how dare mother – taken a cup of coffee from the pot, for herself, before JG got her early morning need-caffeine-NOW hands wrapped around her own first cup.

From there, the conversation boiled to full disclosure. Shame at spending money, day after day, on what merely gets swallowed away. To her, I say, I stand there with you at the cash register, sister, spending my hard-earned money on a cup of pick-me-up. There is no shame. Not considering you are also talking to someone that spent $36 on a balaclava, $90 on running shoes, and nearly $1000 for a bicycle wheel – more than once. The $1.85 for a cup of coffee? That’s small beans for a triathlete.

Next up – I grind out a confession of her favorite coffee; flavored or non-flavored. The words Columbian Supremo pour out of her mouth. Ah, a true coffee drinker. Someone that recognizes that good coffee is pure and unflavored.

The conversation cup fills up with talk of performance enhancement. From coffee? Yes, yes, 1000 ounces of fully supported yes from both short and long course camps.

And on marrying a fellow caffeine addict? Totally unnecessary as neither of us shares a spouse with a burning love for a hot cup of joe. Along those same lines, neither of us is married to a man named Joe.

Our training programs may be completely different, our preference for race distances far apart. But coffee is the tie that binds. There are so many paths you can take to arrive at the same goal – to be on top of your game at the national level – and though we travel down different paths – she along the short path and myself along the long path - we carry the same cup in our hands.

To coffee!

1 comment:

Spokane Al said...

Ahh - A fiery blend of dry-roasted drive and slow-roasted success from years of hard work and training. - what a great, great line!