Writer’s Block: Peace of mind

My favorite is Nothing, just Focusing on my outward breath, necessary daily in the AM and PM. (For how to’s I recommend Pema Chodron and Jon Kabat-Zinn)

I also do a Druid Prayer Bead meditation 3 times a week.

And when my mind is too busy for even that, I put on my Meditation Podcasts on my Ipod and lay down.

That is just what works for me. 

A brief note on starting where I am

So I am really feeling the neglected scar tissue break down this week, most likely from the new stretches and increased exercise. So I decided to finally read up a bit on the grey area that was my first ten years of living with the big C. I was a much changed woman, but not yet really taking full responsibility for my own health. Not that I would have done anything different, the doctors I trusted were obviously trustworthy as I am writing this without the use of a medium. It is just that I allowed myself to be as ignorant as possible, and used denial instead of self-empowerment to get through that decade. Anyway here is a link to how I got my breasts back (bi-lateral with radiation) and helps me understand some of my current challenges with swimming.


This dovetails on last nights entry because of the fact that this son who is swimming and supporting my training knows well what it is like to come back from a life altering health crisis. He walks that 5K and swims, etc on a leg whose lower portion is supported on steel.  

I am also including this note to remind myself I do need to work harder to get where I want to go, and yup, pain is part of the process.  A clear picture of the obstacles is not an excuse to quit making the journey, it is just a map of the best way around for my travels.

Anyone CAN do anything, if they are willing to make the choices, take the actions and make the sacrifices necessary to arrive there. 
Sometimes the approach to a goal does need to be abandoned. Running away from a charging bull is smart not cowardice. Also, if I am required to sacrifice my integrity, or if I find the goal cannot be achieved while respecting my belief in ahimsa and satyagraha, then I must find a new aspiration or a new game plan. This, however, is definitely not one of those times, I can do this, and I will finish my first Sprint Tri in October.
All 200+, financially challenged, athletically talent-free pounds of me….(though hopefully by race time its 200- lbs of me 😉

Progress achieved…slowly

 My day started right with meditation. I forget sometimes how much of a difference that makes in my day. Still, even after meditation, I was a bit bluish.

Then I cancelled all my appointments for the week, including Chiropractic and massage (boo hoo, means I better do all my stretches everyday or buy more Tylenol). I thoroughly cleaned the kitchen (it needed it), and did my laundry.  
Meanwhile, I began my next very important task. I am reluctant to say I am returning to my old way of making money as a backup to my nursing career. I came to this decision because I really need more money, I love the job I have as a nurse but an extra 500$ to 1000$ a month would allow me to get out of debt completely, set aside enough to finish my B.S. and I don’t see a way to continue where I am and achieve my financial goals. I definitely want to stay where I am so I need something in addition to it. My now somewhat rusty verbal skills always came through while i was raising my children, can be done on my own schedule and anyway, the universe keeps pushing me in that direction. And that is all the information on that I am giving here, let’s just say I began and if nothing else I am going to have fun trying. 
So that’s how I spent my day, working to keep a clean and solvent roof over my and my roommate’s head. All this had me headed well towards Indigo, and then I got a text from my Daughter-in-law. She was out of work for the day and did I want to go do our swim practice.
Want was a strong term to apply to doing my triath training, as my inability to complete the assigned workout was demoralizing me. I went a little further each time I practiced through the week-end, but still had not completed the new homework. It was more than twice as long as our previous workouts. I did not want to go fail again, I did however, need to go practice. 
So before I could formulate a stalling technique, I went.
The evening went splendidly. With Dawn and Rick’s encouragement, I actually completed the training outline set by Phil for the first time. I am still pausing more between laps than recommended but it was my first time to complete ALL laps, and I am keeping my face in the water with the kick-board consistently. I still really struggle with the breathing portion of the breast stroke and can’t yet make a full half-lap without flipping to back stroke for a breathing break. Almost no panic tonight when blowing out under water, even make it a couple strokes past my first accidental mouthful of water but then I flip like a dead fish. Progress…. 
Anyway, practice complete, they took me to dinner at Sweet Tomatoes (do NOT try the sugar free Key Lime Mousse, it tastes like it should be used in someone’s hair, the pineapple upside-down cake on the other hand is VERY nommable….)Then sat out the giant dust storm with my son and daughter-in-law in their rec room and watched a sweet, funny movie on their awesome HD TV. 

Yes, it is true. My son and daughter-in-law have all the coolest techy stuff. In fact most of my way cool-to-me tech stuff is their hand-me-downs.  I am really proud of them both. My son only turns 28 this week and due to initiative and drive and doing the hard work he is a success professionally and personally. His wife is in graduate school. Their wedding anniversary is this week and they still obviously love and like each other. In fact they kind of remind me of  Lily and Marshall. Yup, it’s true. My son turned out awesome, in spite of me.

It really is about doing the work, not just talking the dream, believing the dream, and visualizing the dream; it is about getting your hands dirty, taking the risks and doing the work. It’s about being embarrassed and plowing through anyway. 

I said it before and will say it again, there are two kinds of people; those who make their dreams come true and those who make excuses.

That is why they make such good supporters right now. Rick and Dawn’s ability to set and meet goals is phenomenal.
Anyway, I will stop going on and on about how cool they are, but just had to express my gratitude publicly to them and to the universe for making them so awesome and all.  
Maybe a triathlon is not a goal anyone looking at me would suspect or suggest, but that is what makes it a goal, and not just showing off.
I shall finish tonight with a poem I wrote in grade school.
                         Star Catching  
I crouch, spring and grasp at the sky
Only to fall back down
And all the children point and laugh
At the way I jump around
It’s true, as yet, I’ve never caught a star
But at least my feet have left the ground.
                                                                          jm de biasi

 Good night star catchers!

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Originally published at Coppervale International. You can comment here or there.

Something is better than nothing.

 And just like in any good book just when you think there is hope on the horizon, it gets worse. (Which, coincidentally, is exactly what happened to our heroes right after the Tummeler quote I used last time) And this is the part where our heroine loses her hope (but not her determination)

So here is our new homework assignment

2 Lap Kick Board warm up, focus on breathing and consistently moving.

4 Laps free style with no, or minimal (30 seconds or less) break
1 Lap Kickboard
3 Laps free style
1 Lap Kickboard
2 Laps free style
1 lap Kickboard
1 Lap free style

Cool down
2 laps with kickboard focusing on breathing. It will be little extra hard here because you will be tired. Thats ok, try to push through it.

(Yup. Today it looks impossible, but That’s my homework. And on top of that I have a new lumpy lymph node(?) in my groin right where my swimsuit fits (It is the size of a walnut and it HURTS! )

This more advanced homework, I suppose, is because now we have two new people in the class who already actually swim, one of whom is training for the same triathlon I am, only she isn’t new to it.  So now the new girls set an even higher  bar than my Daughter-in-law did and I totally wear the dunce cap. 

You know, last week when I was struggling to keep up my morale but pushing through the homework every night and at least feeling like I accomplished something, I don’t feel that tonight. 

Tonight completion was impossible in the time I had available. It was taking me 45 minutes to an hour to do the old homework and was very winded and exhausted when I was done.

So, I did what I could.
My success was doing ALLLLLL (OK only 4) full laps with the kickboard with my face in water and practicing breathing. Tonight I did finish last weeks homework…2 kickboard then 3 freestyle laps with very little break 2 kickboard and 2 more freestyle laps. Then time was up. Home to sleep to work tomorrow. Sunday night and next week in the mornings I will stay till its done. 
My morale may be in the toilet, but my determination is intact.
So, do you know the difference between stubborn and fortitude?
Whether you agree with what I am doing.
Let’s just say it ain’t over yet.
Tonight I feel slow, fat and old but very, very stubborn.