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Do monks get to pursue their hobbies and interest in the monastery?

Yes, is the short answer.  We obviously have to get permission and it cannot be too extravagant.

On Saturday morning, for the third year in a row, I participated in the Cameron YMCA Triathlon (Cameron, MO). It was a gorgeous and cool morning for racing. It was my 7th sprint triathlon race, a 200 meter swim, 8 mile bike, and 2.1 mile run. I was able to place 3rd overall and 1st in the 30-34 age group. I enjoy these races, it is neat to meet different people and get out and thank God for the life he has given me.

You can take a look at the specific results by following this link:  Triathlon Results (scroll down to see men’s results)

Below:  The swim was 200 meters in a 50 meter (Olympic size) outdoor pool.  Participants swim down one length to the wall, then move under the rope and swim back in the next lane.  It is called “serpentine,” advancing from one end of the pool to the other so as not to get in the way of the swimmers who are ahead or behind you.  Each triathlete, upon registering, records what they think they will swim the 200 meter distance.  I put 3 minutes and 15 seconds, and was seeded #15.  I ended up swimming the distance in 3 minutes 11 seconds.

Above:  The transition from swim to bike.  After getting out of the pool, I run over to bike bike at the transition area and put on my helmet, sunglasses and bike cleats as fast as possible.  For those serious athletes, it’s no socks!

Below:  After biking 8 miles, athletes return to the transition area to put on running shoes.  Again, no socks- so today I have a couple blisters.  Hint:  Transition as fast as you can, the clock never stops.


Below:  After the race, posing with “Finisher’s medal.”

Below:  First, second, and third places in the 30-34 year old division.  The man on the far right is Phillip.  I remember him from last year.  He lives in the Kansas City area and is Catholic.  He and his wife have two boys.20140720-082029-30029686.jpg