Our fearless leader posted her accomplishments recently and inspired me to do the same. Actually, like many things I do, I was vacillating between writing a summary or not, so Kandi’s post was a kick in the bum (as my Aussie wife would say) to get this done.
I’ll get the guy stuff out of the way first.
Whereas Kandi is an accomplished runner [that’s debatable]–qualifying for the Boston Marathon is a tremendous feat, one that many shoot for and few achieve (my best marathon time, of the three I’ve run, wouldn’t get me within two hours of qualifying). But I did have a personal best for a 10 mile run earlier this year, and I ran a Halloween half-marathon in Dee mode, a first for me.
After a year off, I completed eight triathlons of short to intermediate distances, including five Olympic distance triathlons. I set personal bests for the sprint and Olympic distances. Nationwide, based on the triathlon rating system (minimum of three races), I finished in the top half of my age group, out of roughly 700 old fogies like me (and I woke up New Year’s Day realizing I had aged up into the next age group, so I’ll be the “youngest” in my new age group come 2022).
And of course, often a precursor to my races was a day (or two) or night out dressed! Going from heels to biking or running shoes is generally not part of most triathlon training plans, but it works for me!
Speaking of training, my mileage for 2021 was 3,300 miles biking, 600 miles running, and 50 miles swimming, all told about 300 hours of effort. As with all things, if you want the rewards, you have to pay the price. Often the races aren’t “fun”, as you are pushing yourself to your limits, but finishing them is extremely satisfying.
On the positive side, having lost about 50 pounds over the last ten years means I can squeeze into sexier clothes, often Hand-Dee-Downs from my GG friend Michelle (or even just trying on her fun stuff).
On the girl side, which is what you probably most care about…in no particular order. By my best count (thanks, Google photos), I went out 34 times, not quite the 122 times that Kandi made it out. On the other hand, fifteen times I met up with Michelle, which ALWAYS makes Kandi jealous [Yep!].
1. I added two more cities to my list of places going out, Athens, Georgia in January and Milwaukee in August. That raises my count of states to five, so only forty-five to go.
2. Bought my first swimsuit, and wore it out in public. With two months of summer coming up soon (in Australia, starting in late January, pandemic permitting).
3. Checked off a “bucket list” item by attending a St. Louis Cardinals game dressed.
4. Went to four different casinos, and was hit on leaving one at 1 AM. I’m not a big gambler, but casinos are a great destination because they are always open, there are things to occupy your time, and perhaps adult beverages.
5. Went to Pride for the first (and likely not last) time.
6. Had a fun night out on Halloween. When I was a kid on Halloween, I was always jealous of the boys who got to dress as girls on Halloween. Of course, had I worn the outfit I wore for Halloween 2021 to school I would have been sent home from school. I also let Michelle post the picture of the two of us on Facebook and Instagram, and at last count had over 80 likes.
7. I made multiple visits to Michelle’s favorite bar, Hemingway’s. Met some of Michelle’s friends (including a couple who saw me in both girl and guy mode, and didn’t care), saw some I had met before, had a female bartender tell me how much she admired me, and a male bartender tell me how much he liked my dress and gave me a little more than normal attention, which was interesting.
8. I followed the advice of my GG friend Renee to try something outside my comfort zone. She meant clothes, but besides buying some more daring outfits, I’ve been more daring in my outings (like Halloween and visiting Hemingway’s more often).
I’ve been going out for a little over five years, and been writing about them for about the last two. For those who enjoy reading my posts, thanks. For somewhat obvious reasons, I can tell only a handful of people “look what I wrote”, so it pleases me there are readers like you who take the time to read what I write.
For those who have circumstances that allow you to dress–tolerant spouses or partners, or you’re single, for example–but have been afraid to step out the door, I will once again encourage you to consider doing so in 2022. As Kandi wrote in her summary, she was an actress and model, and I’m sure she never considered that in her wildest dreams. I never thought Dee could have friends, but I do.
Often times, the only thing holding us back is the person in the mirror.
Passing on the advice from Renee, in 2022, try something out of your comfort zone. That might be taking that terrifying step out of the door (or it may be signing up to run a 5K when you’ve never run before). It may seem impossible, but I’m here to suggest it’s not. Be bold, try something new. You’ll be happy that you tried.
Here’s to a happy 2022–and a fast time at Boston for our hostess [Your lips to God’s ear!]!