Just keep swimming…

Thank goodness for Dora’s advice. May just have to pop in Nemo tomorrow while at work. The boys I take care of like the movie and that does seem to be my motto these days, "Just keep swimming." 

I kept telling myself that tonight, because I sooooo felt like quitting. I was there by myself, and tired and swallowing water trying to get the breathing down and a couple of buff and beered up guys were laughing at me from their chairs by the pool and I just wanted to grab my kick-board and goggles and go to my car and cry. 

I want to post something meaningful to somehow convey the highs and lows of the past four days, but just toooooo exhausted today in every way so no meaningful artsy writing, just a sketch of this weeks events . 

Besides the twenty-something testosterone bullies at pool side, the pool itself  was full of noisy children, with big blow up toys and no concept of space sharing or swim lanes so it was frustrating and inconvenient to do my laps (probably got a couple in just going around the kids).  I did however complete my assignment, barely.

I have been on the verge of tears off and on all week. The universe has surrounded me with lots of love and evidence that I am loved even as I plod along through my issues of too little money, too little time, and old, out of shape body. The emotional grief may be effecting my physical performance but I am certain that the physical exertion is mitigating this current emotional high tide, so that is one positive. There are a lot of others, most of them external.

On Tuesday night I had a lovely dinner with son, Rick, his wife Dawn and her dad; walked 4.5 miles with Rick and Dawn and then swam with Dawn, her mom and Rick. Barely finished my swim assignment that night. The Man threatened to lock me inside for the night. (I missed the last call, apparently cause I was in the water swimming laps). Rick also loaded Ubuntu on my laptop, and Rick and Dawn gave me an awesome Droid phone. I am a lucky mom and mom-in-law. 
Then  Wednesday at my house friendship was highlighted. I threw a Fusion Belly Dance themed party, including Stone Soup style food, a book discussion and an amazingly wonderful game of Truth and Dare. (I drank two glasses of wine that night and my weak liver hasn’t yet forgiven me, I won’t repeat that again for awhile)
Then Thursday morning was the training session. I was hung over from two glasses of wine (yes, I AM a weenie) AND a new participant joined the triath training session who can swim well. So not only was I sucking more than usual at swimming cause every time the panic started to rise with my face in the water, so did my stomach contents, but now I was doing it along side a stranger who really could swim.
Today was work. I love my job and the family that I work for as much as usual but even there it seemed I was batting like I belonged on the Diamondbacks not the Yankees.
Sometimes I am brilliant and inspired. Sometimes, I just breathe. This week my biggest accomplishments seem to be not quitting and not throwing up in the pool, and I guess all in all, that is something. 
So now I will go sleep so I can just keep swimming again tomorrow. I am grateful to still be able to at least do that.
Namaste World

And another day of training complete..

Tonight my training consisted of  just the bare minimum really. Walked the 4 miles with Rick and Dawn, faster pace than my comfort zone (Rick has Loooooooong legs) and then did two full laps on the kick-board and 2 freestyle laps followed by 5 push-offs, 2 more laps trying hard to be the breaststroke followed by 5 more push-offs and then 2 more laps that were half and half backstroke and breast stroke. 

Still need to get pictures, although I think I will have body composition stats this week, and the weight is dropping, although that is not the point, other than the fact that it will be a whole lot easier to take say 190 pounds of person on a 200 yd swim, 8 mile bike and 1/2 mile run by October 30 than say 230 pound of person.

I am SOFT-IT  (Slow Old Fat Triathlete in training!) and it feels good! And now to sleep cause tomorrow I got stuffs to do!

Just keep swimming…

 Just a little note this morning while I sip my coffee. As I appended the last entry to say, after a rather exciting, for many reasons, swim practice I spent an hour crafting a rather beautifully written blog about rolling with the changes and challenges life offers me. Just as I had finished a bit of copy-editing, there was a "blip" in Live Journal and I found myself back on my CHROME page. That didn’t worry me because LiveJournal has automatic draft capability. Except when I re-opened LiveJournal, it was gone. All of it disappeared into that place cyber stuff blips apparate. 

I looked squarely into the face of the laughing universe and said "Yes, I did mean it!" and went to bed, only momentarily flumoxed.

I work again today, although that is not usual, so will be going to swim again tonite and will blog again tomorrow. Continuing to eat,over all, my usual organic vegetarian, wheat-light clean diet of vegetables, rice, etc and find the more I expend my angst in exercise, the less food I crave. Although fatigue still requested some empty calories last night and I indulged it with one of the single serving Ben and Jerry American Dream single servings in the fridge and 1 cup of sesame/flax pita puffs.

Off to be a nurse again. Oh, have I mentioned again recently how grateful I am to be living all my childhood dreams finally? I love my job. And I promise tomorrow to attempt to recreate the two stories, one from recent experience and one from fourth grade but I can’t promise what philosophical direction they will turn now.

Postscript I did train tonight.
2 laps with the kickboard
5 pushoffs to half pool and swim back
3 full laps (one lap is 2 lengths and the pool is 25 meters long so 150 meters)
5 pushoffs (see above)
5 pushoffs
3 laps………….I am now not crabby at all but fully a jellyfish. Goodnight.

PPS: Close to four decades have passed, but June 13th is still one of the harder days in my year. It is the anniversary of my mother’s death. It was early morning. The clock radio had gone off and "Wildfire" was playing. My mom had been in the hospital for months. The day before I had cut out of school early and rode around in Wendy Bicknell’s car with her and Leslie Harmon smoking Virginia Slim menthols before getting dropped at the New London Hospital to visit my mom. My mother had spoken her last words to me weeks before and now I would just sit quiet and hold her bony hand, only that Thursday she moaned when I touched her and the nurse who came in said she couldn’t have anymore pain medicine, so after that I didn’t even touch her, I just sat, so she wouldn’t be alone. 

My father had quit coming. The cancer had taken all of my Mom but these last few shreds of tissue and bone. Her husband had left her in all but name, just before the cancer took the last of her memory. I was actually glad he stopped coming. See, my father had begun dating other women again months before my mom was even hospitalized. The last time before she died that my father visited her at the hospital he brought along the woman he meant to marry once he was free and forced me to come along as a chaperone so "no one", meaning my mothers nurses, would think badly of him.
Anyway, it was a Friday morning. Friday June 13th and Wildfire was playing on the radio and the phone rang, and I knew. I just knew. My father came into our room a few minutes later and said "Your mother is dead, Marlene is dead." And then he started to cry.
My mother was as thorough a mix of good and bad as any human can be. From her I learned how to knit, how to sew, how  to cook, how to clean and how to hide. Her last words to me were, "I’m so sorry. Someday my dear, you will understand, some people are just harder to love than others." In that, as well as so many other things I am like her. "Yes,mother, I do understand, I too have had harder time loving myself than just about anyone else."

Expectations, or how Joy keeps putting on her Angy Eyes

 Sometimes life is a joyful burst of running on a spring path, sometimes life is more like being the fat girl in sweats running on a treadmill between glowing lithe blondes at a popular gym. Sometimes life is all about lessons and perseverance and just remembering to keep moving.

So this morning I get up early even though my body says sleep, skip the quiet meditation because time is of the essence, eat my oatmeal, dress for the pool, care for the dogs and head out the door. It is a 20 minute drive to my DIL and the pool. DIL is sleeping in and I will be doing this mornings practice on my own. I quietly slip in her house, acquire the pool key and head to the pool. I am feeling quite good about myself at this point, I have visualized the whole face/water thing while falling asleep and again while waking up, so I know its my break through session.

Only the pool is locked up. Apparently on Saturday and Sunday, it doesn’t open until eight. I don’t know if this is a new rule, or one I have just missed somehow. I am very frustrated. I asked and was given the change in time so I could train, but this means I work an hour later as well so coming back tonight is out of the question. My job as a nurse and the family I serve comes first. So here is where the little voice in my head kicks in, the one that echoes so many other voices.

"You’re just pushing yourself too hard. You really can’t do this. Go back home, get ready for work and just let go of this stupid fantasy of ever being a triathlete. You are too old, too fat, too poor and too busy."
Actually no one person ever says all of that themselves, but my evil mind voice manages the edit easily.
Speaking of mind voices, the one thing that makes all of this morning bearable,  including moments of warm smiles and out loud guffaws, is listening to "Just a Geek" by Wil Wheaton. Yup, that once SNG teen idol turned writer/comedienne who is, again, acting. i read his and Jon Scalzi’s blogs in my Joanne Jefferson days, but left them behind with many other Geektivities when I exited that bad Mary Higgins Clarke written marriage. I re-found them thanks to my friend Sara. Listening to this book of that time, feels like Wil describes he felt upon rewearing the Star Trek uniform. That is one of the things Wil is good at, describing his anything but ordinary life in a way that makes it relatable, probably because he sees himself as the ordinary man. He also names his mind voices. Maybe I should name mine?
Anyway I am off to work. Plan to come back to this later tonight as I have two more topics – one to do with nutrition and other peoples expectations and the other to do with a recently resurfaced memory of my one attempt at real athletics as a child.
 Crap. Just finished a beautiful and well written update to this blog about letting go expectations and overcoming frustration and a "blip" in the site lost it. LOL. So this is it. I went to train tonight and it was awesome, in spite of a pool full of loud teenagers.


The Karmic End to my Straight Talk Phone account

Absolutely, defininely, and enormously  THE WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE  EVER!!!!!!!! 

I am really done, as of tonight, with this company.  Five months and they still haven’t fixed their zip code glitch so I cannot purchase air time without going to a Walmart. And then the sales people just pass you around asking the exact same questions again and again and again!

It was the price that got me, and the price that held me, even has i hated myself for purchasing outside my ethical boundaries. So bonus, no more sacrificing my ethics to save money. I still have a landline for now and will figure the rest out later.

Right now I need to go to sleep because I am going to go practice my swimming at 6 AM tomorrow for the Triathlon this blog is supposed to be about…….
One final note,
No matter how cheap Straight Talk is, DO NOT be sucked in! In the old "you get what you pay for adage"  it is in every bad way the cheapest service out there.
On a positive note, I will no longer have any reason at all to ever step into a WalMart again, THAT is an awesome bonus!

As of midnight tonite I will not have an active cell phone. If I did not need one for work, I wouldn’t care about its loss. Can’t solve it by complaining. Must sleep now anyway.

So good-night. Promise some real training blogs again shortly! 

Week 2 of the SOF triath training…

 So Now I am a 229.1 lb, 50 , non-athletically gifted woman in her second week of training as a SOFT  (Slow, Old, Fat) triathlete who did A LOT of swimming today. (I really believe at this point that with his direction I will in October swim 400 yds, bike 11 miles and run 5K)

Today was face in water and learning to breath; or that was the next step the ever inspiring and patient Phil (I really believe at this point that with his direction I can complete in October  swimming 400 yds, biking 11 miles and running 5K) was trying to teach. Dawn, my DIL, seemed to get it fairly quickly. She also DID NOT (as far as I know) throw up after training today. I, on the other hand, wanted to either cry or throw up after training. Not mind you because of physical exertion but due to my own unreasonable fear response. I seem to have more fears, rather than less, as I age.

I was pretty fearless when I was young. My courage flirted regularly with stupidity. Now I am prone to something akin to panic attacks when I attempt certain tasks. Two of those tasks include riding a bycicle, and swimming with my face under water.Let me clarify that, I can swim with my face in water holding my breath, it is only when I begin to blow out all my precious breath that some switch clicks off in my head like a loud, annoying car alarm and I just HAVE to life my head out of the water. Bicycles are great places to sit until I have to lift my feet off the ground and try and pedal and balance. So yea, bikes and swimming, my foolish phobias.
Which is clearly why a Triathlon is perfect for me, because swimming and biking really look fun when other people do them, and the best fear is the one we have faced and friended. 
Local friends reactions to my new goal vary from in-credulousness to comments about my sanity or pushing myself too hard, and that is just the comments they have spoken to my face. My sons, my DIL, and a couple of my inner circle women friends are supportive, if not convinced I will follow through, which is OK.  I have moments where I also wonder if I am crazy, pushing myself too hard, or going to derail onto some other tangent. This is why I started the blog to reduce the back doors out of accomplishing something on my bucket list for a long time.
I made progress. At first I could not breathe out at all. By the  I did manage kick-off and stroke five times while breathing out, take air, stoke again three times but just as I began to breathe out that time I gave in to my fear. OK. I am gonna call it a blog even though its sketchy. My sprouted mung beans with rice with steamed yams and cabbage.

Brevity is the soul of wit

 So on this night I will be short. 

DIL’s schedule meant a late start for training so no walk or the pool would be closed.

 Swam my laps, then jogged in water four more laps, 10 push-offs made exceedingly lame by a water in the nose problem tonite. I see a nose clip in my future.

Home now, dead tired. 

Tomorrow is a new day.