Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A New Kind of Biathlon

In Nordic biathlon, competitors ski a course with shooting ranges at intervals, requiring them to hammer as hard as they can for time and immediately calm down to shoot accurately. Inaccurate shooting incurs time penalties.

This afternoon I had an appointment to meet the cellist and one of her adult violin students to work on a piece together. She left late in the morning in her car. I left in mid afternoon on the Traveler's Check. We planned to come home together by way of the grocery store. I had plenty of time to enjoy the ride and still cool down and change clothes before abusing the fiddle.

About a mile from home I realized I'd forgotten the rather extensive grocery list. I was still close enough to feel I should sprint back for it. Flip a U-turn, sprint sprint sprint. Yank the door open, stomp up the stairs in my cleats. Snatch the list off the refrigerator door. Stomp back down. Blow out through the door. Fling a leg over the bike. Jab feet into pedals. Sprint sprint sprint. My time cushion had evaporated, especially since I still had to stop at the fuel company to make a monthly propane payment.

The afternoon was sunny and mild. The sun comes in from the southern hemisphere, lighting us with its leftovers. The angled rays bounced off the dark lenses I cruised behind. Hurry. Push. Spin.

Into town I kept working cadence and stance, shifting on the saddle, standing at times, to keep up the pace. I pulled into the parking lot with only a couple of minutes to spare.

All pumped up, heart rate still elevated, I had to maneuver through a small room filled with fragile instruments and music stands. I changed my clothes, pulled my violin out of its case, tensioned the bow and tried a few notes.

Once the cellist got us down to work, I lapsed into concentration on counting, following the line of musical symbols like a singletrack. Mind you, I do not claim to be any good at this. Learning it still makes my life more interesting and brings me some new skills and perspective.

It would be interesting to set up a biathlon event with riding, running or skiing segments connecting music stations. But I guess listening to gunshots or watching archery is easier on the spectators than a whole bunch of bad sight reading.


Dingbat said...

After chess boxing it only seems logical.

cafiend said...