With April having just wrapped up, I feel I need to provide some sort of report on the “new” thing I did last month. The inspiration for this particular update has nothing to do with 1) not having any other topics/ideas in mind, nor 2) that any topics I might have had in mind actually sounding a bit preachy/screechy and would really have only applied to about three people. Nosirreee. (Blargh, ok fine, here we go. Nut-shelling it so I can finally get it out of my system: LEARN TO READ, three people, LEARN TO READ. Is it so hard? I wasn’t talking to you before, but you got my attention so I am now. GRR! Whew! That was cathartic! Good thing I wasn’t talking about anything. Moving along.)
Swimming: The New Thing I Did in April
I absolutely love it. I’m not really sure what to add here except for possibly a “really” or a “very.” So, I really very love it! Which isn’t to say I’m good at it; I’m not, but I’m learning and my teacher is infinitely patient and cheerful (what I like in a instructor). My big takeaways:
- Fins are fun and make you feel speedy!
- Some people may not be the absolute best at sticking to a straight line (not your point A to point B types). They cover the whole pool as if they’re conducting a detailed grid search as they make their way toward the other end; however, all is forgiven because they’re super sweet and you should do your part by just hugging/scraping the sidewall to clear their path. (Hey, it’s really either make way or get hit, and we all know there’s nothing that Mercurochrome or a splint cobbled together from pool noodles can’t fix. Wait, Mercurochrome isn’t an option anymore? Ok, just hop out of the pool until they’re through. They have to take a break sometime, right?)
- Tankinis will roll up to your armpits, especially when everyone is underwater and staring right at you. Hi! This is my belly, y’all!
- Goggles – all these years I denied myself. Why? Chlorine eye burn, I don’t miss you.
- I’m stronger than I thought, stronger than I look, and more athletic than I appear.
- Swim dreams – I have them, and they’re the best!
- Swim days – I count down the days until it’s Saturday again because I get to swim more. In fact, I’d really like a few more hours in the day just to have the time to work on swimming. (FYI, I genuinely get that excited about row days, too. I love you, rowing! I haven’t abandoned you. I’m just cheating on you a bit.)
Truthfully, I really only want to row, swim, and do strength training. Oh, and write ridiculous blog entries, of course – that’s SOOOO my number one, and THEN like all the other stuff is number two or maybe four or five on the list. I’m here for you!
Y’know, I’m not sure when I became “that” person – the person who feels happier/more themselves exercising. Ok, I’m lying, it was totally August 18, 2015. I’m not even kidding. Well, at least that’s when the whole thing started. Although, I can say with some certainty that, at the end of that day, I wanted to curl up in a tight little ball and die. Then the next day happened, the 19th, quickly followed by several days after that, where I could barely stand without wanting to cry; all of my muscles hurt so badly. I even remember declaring to Jay (or to anyone who could hear my pitiful voice) from the bathroom. “I can’t stand up. I think I’m going to just flip onto the ground and lay here for a few days. Don’t worry about me. Bring food and stuff.” Jay laughed, but I was actually serious about this floor-living plan. It seemed like the best option.
Anyway, it probably wasn’t that first week or even the weeks that immediately followed where I began to truly enjoy the gym, but sometime between then and now it did happen: I like moving. There are days I’ll tell myself I’m not feeling “it” and actually have a solid plan to skip the gym, then the next morning I find myself in my gym clothes, grabbing my bag and heading towards the door.
Now, if I could apply that same will power to eating, and stop treating my body like a garbage can, that would be great. I’m not there yet, though. Hey, we’re all works in progress, right?
Back to Swimming
Last Saturday my teacher pulled me aside to tell me that she planned to move me up to the Advanced Beginners class in the next couple of weeks. Ok, I recognize this sounds a bit like an oxymoron, “advanced beginner,” but you know what else it sounds like? Progress! And progress allows me to move from the kiddie pool to the big kid pool with the other adults (and really anyone over the age of like eight, who also actually know how to swim). There may even be dips into the deeper water. (Right now the pool I’m in is only 3 ½ feet deep, which is fine by me since it allows me to take my very important panting and wheezing breaks wherever I choose. Three strokes, turn head, take a breath, take additional strokes, drop feet, stand up, wheeze/pant, push off, two strokes, and touch the wall. Great job! You go, girl! Make note of where cheerful pool grid gal is, mentally plot her trajectory, and begin again! You got this! I’m pretty sure this is what Olympic swimmers do, too. I’m such a pro!)
That’s my swim update. Now I need to decide what new/interesting thing I’ll try in May.
Recap: (Mostly, because I personally keep forgetting. Sure, there are only three things I have to remember, but hey, do I judge you? Ok fine, bad question. Can we just move to the part where you bless my little addled heart?)
February – Painting with a Twist – painted the Eiffel Tower, and discovered I am quite gifted. Unfortunately, my gifts do not include painting.
March – Live-streamed my Beginning Yoga attempt with my good friend Anna, went to Ao5 Gallery with my favorite people where we got to see the Dr. Seuss exhibit (you really should check out his art beyond his children’s books)
April – Began Beginning Adult swim lessons
I’ll be sure to report back next month with what I got into in May. I will also try not to rant again (no guarantees) – not even at those three people who really really deserve it.
Beth. You might look at nianow.org and see if there are any classes near you for May!
Thank you tons for the suggestion, Donna! I think I’m actually really good when it comes to fitness classes at the moment. I have a physical trainer I see weekly, I’m at the gym 6 out of 7 days of the week, and on my “free” 7th day, I’m in the pool. Sadly, I don’t think I could commit to another regularly scheduled physical activity. For my monthly challenges, I’m focusing more on one-offs – something I haven’t done like say “take a one-day stained glass class” unless we’re talking rowing. I row at the gym three days a week, I rowed a half marathon on the rower (2 hours of straight rowing), thus, once I learn to really swim, I will add it to “things to try,” because I want to get into a real boat after years of practicing. Plus, it’s also a short 3-week class, so super low commitment in terms of things to try. 🙂 But huge thanks for the thought!! Hope you’re doing great!
Knowing the importance of “new thing” is one thing, getting on with it, and keeping it consistent is another. A great routine happens when you overcome the little voice in your head that says, “I will do it tomorrow”. It’s important to find the motivation to keep going. 🙂
I love swimming! It’s like a cross between outer space and under the sea. (I’m so impressed you manage to keep a schedule. I’ve gotten so reluctant to commit to a routine now finally free from rigid ones. Free form is getting to be my normal)
Big pool! Pretty fast progress – who knew you would take to it so swimmingly? YEA YOU! (and maybe I’ll try googles…they have to be better than the old ones we tried as kids…)
Thank you so much for all of the swimming encouragement; you helped inspire me to give it a try to begin with and it has been so fun! I learn something new every week. I actually have to miss a day over Memorial Day weekend, and I’m already trying to manage how bummed I am since they don’t do make-up classes, and won’t allow anyone to swim in their pool outside of classes. I’ll have to think of something – maybe air swimming. Surely that’s a thing!
One of my co-workers was on his school’s swim team back in the day. He kindly took me goggle shopping, then showed me how to correctly secure them to my face, and how to create a water-tight seal. That was such a huge help! I’ve also seen places that offer prescription goggles that aren’t horribly expensive, which I’m now considering.. You know, on the off chance I’m asked to read while in the water. 🙂
Hope everything is going great down in your neck of the woods (or, y’know, Gulf Coast).
On Tue, May 7, 2019 at 7:41 PM The Big Blue Mess wrote:
They are treading water in north and west Harris county. But so far here there’s been enough time between storms to keep it from flooding. We have to drag the dog out as she’s decided only strays leave a couch to stand in the wet.
I miss the giant neighborhood pools in the summer – turquoise, smelling of chlorine and sun tan lotion and the otherworld experience as you slip through that environment. Seriously wondering about one of those small pools with a river-like current…must buy lottery ticket…