“Clarissa, is Devon all right?” I asked putting down my cup of coffee, “I saw he and Zack walking the new puppy last night and he looked like he’d been in an accident.”
“He wasn’t in an accident. He just got back from his annual Management Training in Chicago,” she said laughing, her red curls bobbing around her round face. “Their company is pushing all the managers to be better examples by promoting fitness. So each morning when they got up, they attended an aerobics class before breakfast.”
“I see him walking all the time,” Bunny said with her refined Texas accent. “What did they do to him?”
“It’s more like what did he do to himself,” Clarissa said.
“I’ll bite, what did he do to himself?” I asked passing Bunny a scone.
“Thank you, Fannie,” Bunny said.
“After the first day of aerobics he discovered how out of shape he’d become, so he decided to amp it up a bit more each day to compensate,” Clarissa said laughing.
A telephone rang in the distance, Devon opened his eyes in a strange room. The clock next to the phone read 5:35 a.m. He picked up the receiver and dropped it in the cradle.
Rolling out of bed every part of him ached. He shuffled into the bathroom rubbing his low back with both hands.
Looking into the mirror he said, “you’re a sorry excuse this morning. Four more days to go.”
Fifteen minutes later he rolled out of the elevator and down the hall to the fitness center. Twenty other managers from around the country milled about the group fitness room, muffled groans interrupting the silence.
Lance, the manager from Colorado, walked in. He clapped Devon on the back. Devon winced.
“So, Dev, how you doing this morning?” He asked his eyes twinkling.
“What’s your secret? The rest of us are dying after one day and you look like you came from a week at a spa.”
Leaning closer to Devon he said, “Last year I decided to train for a triathlon, it was the best move I ever made.”
“So while we all griped yesterday about Candice’s House of Pain, it was just a walk in the park for you?” Devon asked looking at Lance.
“Oh, I didn’t say it was easy,” Lance said smiling, “the woman’s a machine. She’s not going to go easy on us despite the terrific smile. But I’d be suffering now if I hadn’t started last year.”
“Think about it,” Lance said pulling his shoulders back as Candice walked into the room, her long blond hair swept back into a pony tail.
“Good morning everyone,” Candice said smiling. “How’s everyone feeling today?” she asked looking around the room. “Shall we start with a slow warm up?”
The group shuffled into rows as Candice turned on the music.
“He was so embarrassed when he got home, he sent me out to buy ibuprofen and promise to help him stay on track with his exercise.”
“So what are you going to do?” I asked.
“Well that’s where you come in ladies,” Clarissa said, her blue eyes twinkling. “We thought we’d train for the RainMan Indoor Triathlon. It’s being held at the Y in Tacoma in March. Devon wants to do the triathlon by himself. I’m not that ambitious. I would do a relay. What do you think?”
“So what, you just want to earn a little sweat equity instead?” Bunny asked looking at Clarissa, her still red pony tail wagging behind her head.
“Come on, it’ll be fun,” she said, “you and Fannie are already swimming at the Y, and I’m not fond of swimming or running. One of you can swim and one of you can run, I’ll do the bike.”
Nodding her head Bunny said, “It could be fun.”
Running my fingers through my now inch long brown hair I looked from Clarissa to Bunny. “A sprint you say? Exactly how far is each leg?”
“Well the Rainman is really short. It’s a 15 minute swim indoors, a 30 minute indoor ride on a trainer and a 2.25 mile run outside on the street.”
“Well, since I’m nearly a foot taller than Fannie, it would make more sense for me to run,” Bunny said nodding. “Do you have a training schedule in mind?”
“Not really,” Clarissa said, “that’s where I was hoping you’d help.”
“I’ll put together a training schedule for each of us, does Devon need one too?” Bunny asked.
“Yes, he does, ” Clarissa said smiling, “that’d be great.”
“So what do we want to call our team?” Bunny asked looking from Clarissa to me.
“I’m leaning toward either Devon’s House of Pain or Sweat Equity,” I said laughing.