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Try Melon Tri: It’s important to be active

Published: Monday, Jan. 28, 2013 12:10 p.m. CST

Every winter I participate in the Try Melon Tri (triathlon) at the Y in Muscatine. Muscatine, as you know, is the “Melon City,” thus the name, as in, “Try the Melon City Triathlon.”  (There seems to be a contest to come up with the cleverest name.) 

The lady who has organized this event for years is Melanie Steckel. Every year I make the suggestion that the event should be named, “Try Melanie Tri.” So far, they have never taken me up on my suggestion, although they all say it’s a great idea.  Maybe next year.

The event always takes place the weekend before the Super Bowl, when people are going through withdrawal from lack of football and need something to do with their hands and feet. My friend, Lonnie Cale, from New Boston (Iowa), along with our significant others, usually travel together to this event. 

On the Saturday night before the event, Lonnie wanted to go to a movie, because he is always antsy before such highly competitive (I’m joking) events. A couple of weeks before this, I had drug Lonnie and his wife (kicking and screaming)  out to a movie. 

It was the first movie Lonnie had been to in years. He was surprised that they were “talkies.”  He’s hooked now, and was ready for more action. We went to “Parker.”  Jennifer Lopez, I must say, did the trick in getting Lonnie’s blood boiling in preparation for the tri.

The reason I’m talking about all this is to motivate you to get off your duff here in the middle of winter and do something beneficial for your body. Winter, with the holidays, the cold, and the Super Bowl is such a lethargic time to lay on the fat. Doesn’t have to be that way. 

These indoor triathlons, and there are a number of them, are so easy to do, that most anyone with a little gumption, can participate and, here’s the reward — you will have fun doing it! You swim a little in the pool (they even allow you to walk on the bottom), bike a little on stationary bikes, then run some on the indoor track or treadmills.

Cake! Right? 

Yes, you can do this. An indoor triathlon is coming up in March or April at the Y in Washington. Check it out. You even get a T-shirt.

I recently came down with a bum ankle (from running) and had my doubts as to whether I was going to be able to do the Try Mellon Tri. Lonnie kept insisting that I get one of these elliptical machines. There’s no impact, and you get the benefit of an upper body workout, along with the legs. 

I took Lonnie’s advice (after all, he let me drag him to a movie), and was quite impressed with the low-impact workout on the elliptical machine. The ankle quit hurting almost immediately and, get this, my waist shrunk a belt notch almost overnight. Groovy.

Meanwhile, back to the Try Melon Tri: Because of the ice storm the day of the tri, I did not make the trip to Muscatine. However, I definitely benefited from the training, so have no regrets. I’ll keep right on training for Washington’s indoor tri.

Lonnie made the trip through the ice and placed in his age division for the first time at the Try Mellon Tri. He was quite pleased, and credited his performance to the buttery popcorn (and Jennifer Lopez) the night before.

Do yourself a favor. Put down the chips and remote, and start training for the indoor triathlon in Washington. There is also one in Marshalltown. 

Your body will appreciate it, your friends will notice the difference in your appearance, and you will join the group of happy, healthy, in-shape people.

For the health of it!

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