I do it, and I do it big. Here's to not forgetting about it.

Posts tagged ‘Swimming’

Well. That was humbling.

That refers to my open water swim this morning. Before I go on to whine about how I don’t belong and should put all my triathlon gear up for auction on eBay, I don’t regret today. Today was “a learning experience,” as Coachie said.

All teachers know that learning experience is code for bad. f***ing. day.

I was one of 7 today as we started out on the river. Smart people were among us, tubing, paddleboarding, boating. Our butts were in wetsuits and goggles. It’s gonna be a great day, right? I had anticipated being nervous. This ain’t LA Fitness. What I did not anticipate was just how bloody nervous I would be once I started. I have taken to a strategy of swimming from buoy to buoy and it had been extremely effective for me. There were no buoys. Everyone was getting ahead of me. It was swim a million strokes or die. My heart rate shot up and I had to stop. I shouted that I needed to stop and they came back and waited for me. Insert uplifting “people need people, we’re here for you” business here. Yeah, yeah, they encouraged me and I’m thankful. The only thing worse than a bad day is needing people to help you through it.

I continued – with the help of Red, who stayed with me and assured me she wouldn’t let me drown because she would get fired. It’s nice when my life is someone else’s job security, 😉 I kid with Red. I needed help and she was there. “What’s going through your head?” she asked. “I haven’t trained enough!” I replied, on my back, still trying to calm my breathing. “You are well-prepared, you’ve earned this,” she says. I wanted to say, “You don’t know me!” I focused on calming down. She encouraged me to take a few strokes. I could commit to a few. I did. Not so bad. Soon after, she observed that I was swimming fast. Then it hit me.

Don’t swim fast.

Immediately I felt better. I started to notice what a beautiful day it was. I observed a turtle on the river’s surface. I remembered that I actually enjoy swimming.

As I made my way toward the end of our swim, I reflected on the nervousness I had felt when I played my recital program for a small audience prior to my concert. Just the same, my heart rate had shot up. I went super fast and jacked up my playing. I forgot notes – shoot, I even had forgotten how one piece started and had to fake the first few measures. I’d like to say that that’s different because it is easier to hide my panic on dry land, but it’s not. I was no less bothered then than I was today. I’m also equally happy I put myself through the ringer. I was able to take those lessons I learned from my mock recital and give a solid performance on recital day.

If I show up at Augusta, I expect the same. 14 days.

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NB: Coachie let’s make my goal 8:00 to allow for mental breakdown time. If I show up, that is.

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Running Relationships Ragged. Running, Relationships Ragged. Running Relationship’s Ragged! Dammit.

I. Running Relationships Ragged

I’m basically a 5 year old child. Don’t let the full time job and post-pubescent body fool you – you’re dealing with a kid. Anything is fun until I HAVE to do it. From cleaning to practicing music to training for triathlon, once you put a requirement on it the fun is zapped out. I have 43 days to this stupid race and I can’t help but wonder if I would enjoy time on my feet, bike, and in the water more if I didn’t have this over my head like a bloody anvil. I told Coachie that getting my training plan for the first time was like getting a ring on it and I. Am. A. Commitment. Phobe. I suppose I am making progress because while I’m not sure that I will finish, I’m sure I’ll live to see dinner time on September 28. Lord willing. 🙂 I wasn’t comfortable saying that just a short time ago. I will think twice about signing up for a race where the peak of my training coincides with the most stressful part of my year – the beginning of school. When do I typically find my groove? End of September. When is the race? End of September. Whoops! I find myself not wanting to teach or train and I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that’s stress talking. I – may have bitten off more than I can chew, and that’s a damn shame when it doesn’t taste good…

II. Running, Relationships Ragged

I deal with stress in what some may say is an unhealthy manner – the more help I need, the less likely I am to ask for it. I’m naturally introverted and don’t trust people easily. When I am stressed, I am liable to cut off even my close ones. If you need something from me, I’m happy to give to you, but no way in hell will I give you an opportunity to help me. 1. That would require me to be vulnerable and 2. You could mess up and why risk my kicking you out of the circle? Ignorance is bliss among friends, right? 3M has been putting up with my gloom all week. How tiring it must be to call me friend when not everything is going perfectly. I see evidence of my fallibility as soon as I get out of bed (not in the mirror though, heyyyyyy), and yet I still try to hide my imperfections from people whom I believe love me. It wears on me emotionally and I’m sure it must on them too. So – my bad. Probs not gonna change anytime soon though; let’s get drinks.

III. Running Relationship’s Ragged

Oh, running. My first love. Remember those good old days when I was a beginner and with every step I saw unicorns and rainbows? All the progress we used to make together? I guess all that is OVER because I feel as though I’m regressing. I’m not able to run as fast as I did last year (yeah yeah I’m trying to balance running with two other sports now but don’t bother me with all these facts) and it sucks. Every time I go for a run I’m like, “remember when I was young and spry? Sigh.” It is difficult to know which part of me to listen to – the part that says, “hey, don’t do that speedwork because your foot hurts,” or “you know you’re a punk and hate doing things you have to do! Suck it up!” Both of those are true and poor running is caught in the middle.

Dammit

What hasn’t changed from awaiting my first 70.3 vs my first Olympic is the fact that I’m going to show up because I know how pissed I will be if I don’t try. All this perseverance and hope is really a drain, guys.

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Breath of Life

You heard it here first: I’m a big punk. I am prone to worry. It often manifests itself physically with headaches, stomach pains, twitching. Even though I know and believe the following:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭6-7‬ NKJV)

I remind myself of this, see it work, and forget EVERY TIME I need to apply it. Within moments, even.

Flashback – January 12, 2014. My second triathlon. HITS Naples, baby. I had heard the half and full athletes had a gorgeous swim on Saturday. The sprint and Olympic distance races were on Sunday. I had had a few swim lessons with Coachie and was excited to take my new knowledge for a spin. Hahahahaha OR NOT! The water was so choppy that I ended up having to take a break. That was after I had decided not to return to shore in a panic after the race had started. So. Much. Water. Everywhere. I breaststroked that bad boy, man. I was bargaining with God – “just get me through this and I’ll change!” Yeahhhh I’m still working on that too, hah. 🙂 When I made it to the shore, I was like Sweet Brown, y’all. I RAN FOR MY LIFE.

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Heh. I suppose the both of us were craving what we thought to be safe air. Quite frankly, I think bronchitis is less paralyzing than the fear I dealt with that day. In my panic, I forgot that indeed, I had plenty of air. Not only did I have air, but I had time to breathe it. My next triathlon swim went much more smoothly, thankfully. All I can do in the water is breathe and move forward as efficiently as I can without compromising my breath.

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Ah. If only if I had been able to internalize the business about breathing sooner. No worries, Coachie. In terms of words of wisdom, I’ve been ignoring (usually unintentionally) people a long time.
You’re in fantastic company with my piano teachers. They’ve been trying to remind me to breathe my whole life. What has happened to me in the water plagued me first at the keyboard. Instead of “OMG so much water! So many people,” it’s “OMG so many notes! So many people!” I question whether I really know what I’m doing, regardless of my preparation. “Should I really be here? Have I earned this?” At least triathlons have lifeguards! If I have a memory slip during a performance I am SOL, man.

But when I remember to breathe…

It fills my lungs and my music with life. I start to enjoy what I’m doing. I’m able to focus on the present. There may be a big ass wave in the B section, but there’s nothing I can do about it until I complete the A section. Why not try make the most of every moment?

My triathlon swims since January have been FAR from perfect. That didn’t stop me from having a great time and crossing each finish line with a huge smile on my face! I want my recital to be don’t expect my recital to be perfect, but I pray that The Lord will help me fill my music with life.

Tee hee. I screamed “I’M NOT DEAD!” at the end of St. Anthony’s. You better believe I’ll be thinking it when my recital is over!

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Calico.

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There’s my scaredy cat! One of the legend of Tiger, Calico freaks out about a lot of stuff. Like his Mommy, he takes great comfort in shoes, tee hee.

As I write, I’m seated at the airport terminal, waiting to board the plane for my very first destination race. My level of excitement, on a scale from 1-10? 0.

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Odd, considering that I neither have to fly nor race, and I am here by my own doing. I wish it were just the nervousness for the half-marathon that awaits me, but there’s more.

I bloody hate to fly. Why? I might die, of course. Yes, I understand that by miles traveled, flying is the safest way to travel. Never mind that. I’m here simply because driving would be highly inefficient and likely more expensive.

Each time I fly, I am reminded of how little control I have over anything aside from my attitude. I was thinking this morning of how freaked out I was about the swim at St. Anthony’s. The bay is so big and unpredictable and Lady J is so small – and fairly predictable, by comparison. 🙂 At least then I was in control of moving myself forward. Now all I can do is sit and pray that this pilot person knows what the hell he is doing. And that no one is in the mood for mischief the way they were in Ukraine yesterday. 😦

The kind of fear that I have is evidence of my privileged life. The idea of a few bumps or a few choppy waves is enough to make me very uncomfortable. I’m thankful that God is with me both in the water and in the air. I pray that He continues to humble me and may I have the awareness to know that He is in control, even when I feel like I am.

NB: Port-a-potty > airplane lavatory.

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Aside

I Am A Huge Nerd: Race Epilogue

This is the score of the music in my head during the swim. The tabla is the sound of my arms hitting the water, tee hee! I prefer the words to be unpitched, but I couldn’t figure out how to do that in Sibelius. Feel free to use this yourself, but I want full credit!

Swim Song 525

I was freaking out about not freaking out, but now I’m freaked out. Wait what?

Okay. I’m a week out from my next International Distance Triathlon. I survived St. Anthony’s, I’ve been training fairly diligently – with others! and things seemed to be going okay. So I had been starting to get nervous that I wasn’t getting nervous. Typically, there is something that is freaking me out at this point before some event and I’ve been feeling pretty good, which concerned me. Why should I feel good when SO MUCH COULD GO WRONG?

And then the swim waves were posted.

Guess who is in the last wave?
Hint: the same girl who is genuinely concerned about finishing the swim before they close the course. All these jokers going before me can savor the swim but my slow butt has to actually RACE through it to ensure I can continue to the bike and run! I had just been lamenting that I still have trouble pacing myself in the water aaaaaaand now there’s this.

The coach says I’ve got it. Mom says the swim gods wouldn’t have put me there if I weren’t ready. Me? Of course, I am unsure. But, there is victory in not being completely terrified of the water, right? Pretty sure I should still be doing lesson plans for the last 2 weeks of school. I know God’s got His baby triathlete. Is she gonna finish on time? Only He knows.

I know this – He sure likes to keep things interesting.

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