Thursday, June 17, 2010


On Tuesday nights, my real husband and I have started taking a pottery class. I figured it would be a good way to do something together that leans towards our interest in art. I am a huge fan of all things artistic but I've never successfully found my artistic side (unless you count my husband) - I don't expect that I'll be a potter of note anytime in the next several decades - but this should prove to be a lot of fun.

Day 1 of our class: I giggled at the gooey feel of the clay beneath my hands - you'd be SHOCKED how much strength it takes to center a piece of clay. Who needs P90X - just wedge and center a 2-4lb ball of clay each day!

We are taking our class at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta. Our instructor is named Jennie and she and her husband are both potters. We are the only "couple" in class and guess who is the only man in class...yep, poor Clint. But as usual, he's a natural. In no time at all as you can see above, he had pulled up his very first pot!

My first attempt at pulling up a pot yielded a not-so-appetizing clay doughnut...

As the night went on I got a little better although not before I had thrown my clay (and I don't mean on the wheel like I was supposed to), shed a few tears and ruined several pounds of clay. Jennie came over to assess my skills and was able to talk me off the ledge by the window and encourage me to try a few variations of the techniques she had taught. It wasn't easy, but in the last few minutes of our two and a half hour class, I finally birthed a bowl that was worthy of making it's way to the firing shelf! I'm not sure it's centered but it should make a perfectly fine paper clip receptacle!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

It's Not About the Ride! (or...the best way to spend your day)

Note to my regular readers (ha!) I'm just no good at this whole blogging thing...

As you have undoubtedly noticed, I STILL have not posted the rest of my Tour of California photos. I have a ton - but tagging them all takes forever and the TT photos take a lot of time since the riders on each team all look quite similar. And they should look similar - since they are wearing the exact same outfit and ride the same bikes. Anywho - that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. I will one day post the photos, I promise.

Enough about what I haven't been doing..

What I have been doing, which is arguably more important, is riding my bike. I got into a riding rut for a little while there - the desire never left but the schedule wouldn't allow for anything other than my Sunday ride. This is problematic for a few reasons:

1) I like riding my bike. Being a cyclist would really stink if I didn't, wouldn't it?
2) When I don't ride, I get fat. Being fat stinks.

and most importantly...

3) I miss out on therapy. Riding is my therapy. I learn more about myself on a 3 hour ride than I can possibly explain to my readers (all two of you). If you're a cyclist, you get it. If your not - you should become a cyclist to save me the agony of trying to explain something for which there are no words to describe. And so that you can experience free therapy that is WAY better than the kind you pay for.

I took part in therapy with these folks today. Only because I ride have I been blessed with the opportunity to get to know them. So I guess riding is a blessing in addition to being therapeutic.

We headed out for a 55 miler this morning. By we, I mean myself, the FCA endurance team, Lynn, Barry, William (who is kicking some bicycle butt this year after having a kidney removed!!), Jason, my bicycle husband (not to be confused with my real husband who never updates his blog anymore) and myself. Somehow, I let bike hubby convince me that we needed an extra 15 miles. This means that we agreed to meet at the farm at 7:15 and commute to our 8:00 ride (note: "the farm" is my house. I still haven't figured out why we call it "the farm"). As usual, we were running late so the warm-up/commute/extra mileage over I like fast - it's another one of those reasons that I like cycling and refuse to buy a motorcycle. Unfortunately, fast requires effort. a lot of effort. the time my 55 mile ride began, I had already ridden 8.....ahem...."quickly paced" miles.

And I had a mini bagel with two tablespoons of peanut butter for breakfast. Yummy but not smart. I had a banana in my pocket but warm bananas are not so yummy.

The ride itself was great. We took a new route from McDonough through Locust Grove and Jackson. We crossed over Lake Jackson and zig zagged our way back to our starting point.

The not-so-fantastic part was my climbing skills (and the 92 degree temperature w/ killer humidity). I should point out that I don't dislike climbing but it certainly isn't my strength. I guess I could be good at it but I'd have to actually do some interval work which I do dislike! But I digress - the point of my not-so-fantastic climbing rant is that I was never left to climb alone.

The best part of the ride today was the group. They are not just committed to their training but also to their teammates. This is something people don't typically attribute to triathletes. (Note: I am not knocking people who cannot decide on one sport - I'm simply pointing out that they typically don't have teammates to think about as part of their multi-sport habit). While I'm not a teammate in the sense that I wear their jersey at races, I feel like I'm their teammate every time I join them for their rides. Over the course of today's ride, I was checked on, pushed along, pulled to the group, encouraged, given a wheel and waited on more times than I like to admit. I was even offered a ride home. I have tons of respect for anyone who will abandon their training efforts to ensure that their teammate is safe/happy/supported. And for them, it's all about commitment. They are committed to something bigger than showing others how strong they are or how fast they can ride. They train, they teach, they repeat.

After the ride and a few minutes of sucking up the awesome AC at the Trek Store, bike hubby and I headed back. We laughed, cut up and poked fun at each other. We hung out and had an adult beverage (or three) while we watched USA play in the World Cup at my favorite local pizza place.

I can't imagine a better way to spend my day. I am so blessed to be obsessed with the best sport in the world.