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You’re never too young to compete as a triathlete

Bay-area dads had a Father’s Day blast watching their kids dive into the 2014 Truxtun Park Triathlon in Annapolis. My dad was blown away as his two daughters crossed the finish line after a 100-meter swim at the park pool,  five-mile bike ride and one-mile run along the Silopanna Trail and halfway around the track at Bates Middle School.     I earned second place in the 10 and under age group. My seven-year-old sister Alders, just off training wheels, also did well for a first-time racer, finishing seventh in her age group.

Fishing at Carr’s Wharf in Mayo

You won’t believe what is on the end of this pole! I ran out of weights, so I just tied a rock to the end of the line. It’d be nice to get a rockfish with the rock weight.     This was my mother’s pole. I grew up going fishing with her, my dad and his friends. We’d always go fishing. She passed away three years ago from cancer. I still remember her when I use it.     Fishing takes patience. But don’t you just pray for patience. God will throw everything on you to test it. He sure does have a sense of humor.

Father is supposed to know best. But does he? Are his enduring lessons taught by determination as he strives to pass along life-guiding values? Or by accident, as a man doing the best he can — and some not even that. By words? Or by example?         Hence our question in this year’s edition of our annual effort to understand that great life role: What lesson did your father teach you — intentionally or otherwise — that guides you to this day?

Therapeutic horses make good riders

Riders had their day in the sun at Maryland Therapeutic Riding’s Spring Horse Show.     Green pastures and paddocks surround an indoor arena as good as you’d see on the hunter/jumper show circuit. Overflow spectators parked along the lane under shady trees. In arena and show ring, volunteers abounded, helping families settle and riders prepare to mount.

In Their Own Words

During my soccer games, my dad yells my name a lot. That makes me play harder. He likes things very neat, and naturally I’m kind of messy. So I’ve learned that being clean is really the better way. If I don’t get good grades, I usually get grounded. It’s happened before. Not good.     I don’t like it in the moment when he’s correcting me. But looking back, it’s definitely helped me become a better man.

Beckerman kicked his way from Crofton to Salt Lake to Brazil

The world’s sport takes the world’s stage next week when World Cup play begins in Brazil.     Played every four years, the World Cup is the most-watched and admired sporting event on the planet. This year, Anne Arundel County has a favorite son in the play. Crofton-raised Kyle Beckerman, a 31-year-old defensive midfielder for the United States Men’s National Team and captain of Real Salt Lake, prepares to lace up his cleats and play for all the world to see.

River sneakers step into history

After 27 years, Bernie Fowler got a new suit of clothes for his 2014 Patuxent River Wade In.     “It’s a historical day. For 27 years now, I’ve waded in tattered tennis shoes,” the 90-year-old Patuxent River champion and retired Maryland senator told his crowd of followers assembled under a striped marquee on a perfect June Sunday.     Then he handed the tattered sneakers to Sherrod Sturrock, deputy director of Calvert Marine Museum. Straw hat, shirt and denim overalls followed, filling Sturrock’s arms.
Tattered sneakers tell a river’s story. Retired state senator Bernie Fowler tells his.
This Sunday, June 8, Bernie Fowler will tie on his white sneakers to wade into the Patuxent River. Well-wishers, family and friends, school kids, politicians and reporters will join him, linking hands in a human chain, striding into the water until they can no longer see their shoes. Then, if history is a guide, Steny Hoyer — the second-ranking Democrat in the U.S. Congress — will measure the height of the watermark on his old friend’s overalls, declaring the Sneaker Index for 2014.  
In Their Own Words
I was a big athlete. I got recruited to play lacrosse at the Naval Academy. Then I flunked out of the Academy. I lost my leg. Now I can’t even drive anymore. But you have to accept those limitations. You have to continue to pursue whatever you are supposed to be doing. It’s often confusing as to what that is. Continue to figure out why you are here, you know? Helping people is important, too; that’s where you get your real satisfaction.

Is your neighbor the next New York Times bestseller?

The death of reading — like the death of Mark Twain — may be greatly exaggerated.     For the Digital Age has given us high-quality, nearly instant do-it-yourself publishing. Thus the book each of us has within can find a publisher — if it finds an author.     Then it must find readers.     If you’re a reader in search of an author, you’ll find them on May 31 at Prince Frederick Library’s huge Author Festival.