Friday, July 22, 2011

July 22 Part Two: A bright side

  The other night my dear friend and I were discussing exercise boredom.  To be honest, for the past couple months I've been forcing myself to use indoor gym equipment when the great outdoors weren't an option.  I haven't even looked forward to weightlifting class.  I went because regular exercise is something I need, and these forms of exercise had become my routine.


  Fliers for the upcoming exercise classes (pilates, yoga) have been catching my eye, and reports from my friends about their awesome classes (yoga, zumba) have been filling my ears.  But with triathlon coming up and strength training being so important, I didn't give any of these options serious thought.


  Until yesterday.


  Yesterday my doctor told me that after surgery I'll have to spend several months not weightlifting, not swimming, and not using a treadmill.  Any exercise I do will have to be non-jarring.


   Hmm.  Like yoga.  Or pilates.  Friends who participate in both classes have regaled me with tales of dripping with sweat from these classes.


  So it looks like this fall I'm going to start a whole new exercise routine.  Yes, I'll somewhat miss weightlifting, but I'm excited for new challenges.  I believe Someone is guiding me to try something new.  And if there's one thing I like, while keeping my circle of loved ones intact, it's change.



July 22 Part One: To tri or not to tri

  It wasn't the news of pending surgery that rendered me incoherent with tears in my doctor's office.  Rather it was the following exchange:

Me:  Would it be stupid for me to swim in the lake with this hole in my ear?

Doctor: In a word: Yes.

Fortunately for me, my wonderful husband was able to speak and tell the doctor about the triathlon.  And the good doctor listened, understood what I was feeling, and offered a plan to minimize risk.


  I spent most of the day wondering whether I should still participate in the triathlon.  In addition to positive anticipation, I've had the nervousness that goes into such an event; if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know all about that.  So here I was with a perfect excuse: no one would blame me for not competing if I had a real medical reason.


  Last night I picked up my packet (my first race number!!!) and stuck around for a little introductory session.  I met some fellow racers (Am I their fellow racer?  Am I a racer?) and checked out the start line, the transition area, and the finish line (which made me well up all over again).  And any of the anxiety I'd been feeling about the event drifted away as if on an outgoing tide. 


  On Sunday I'm going to follow my doctor's precautionary plan.  On Sunday I'm going to become a triathlete.  J



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July 20: The funnest bike rider in the world

  Yes, yes, you don't have to tell me: I know that funnest isn't really a word.  And that you're not supposed to start a sentence with but or and.  But bike riding is so much fun, and I've just returned from a very fun bike ride, and I don't want to blather on about "I am one who derives great pleasure from the experience of bicycling."  Bah!  Come with me, and you too might be one of the funnest bike riders in the world!


  We start out this morning with no other plan than to ride our bikes.  Traffic is light, so we go this way.  While going this way, we remember a hill we've been wanting to practice on.  And then we remember that said hill is not only in the opposite direction, bu that happens to be not too far from our friends' house and another fun-looking hill.  So we wind our way in and out, up and down the grey and black patchwork of streets, past the shopping plazas and movie theater, and towards the rising sun.


  Being the funnest bikers we are, of course we know other bikers and are happy to meet a fellow biker-ess out and about this morning.  Naturally we stop for a chat and we chat about our happy morning bikey-ness before bidding each other Good day!  And then we – that's you and I, my funnest biking companion – decide to explore a little.  We see some morning animals, some sunrise-pondering people.  We bike to where the sidewalk ends at a cliff (yikes! slow down!), and turn happily around, biking up a little grassy place (because yes, we are strong enough to bike through grass).  And we're good enough to not bang into the tree, despite its lure and refusal to move out of the way.


  Our goal at this park is, of course, the hill that originates in the lovely lake.  We're careful downhill, using brakes so we don't end up bicycling to Canada by mistake.  After all, we haven't packed a lunch.  And at the bottom of the hill, on the hill we played on as kids, we're greeted by golden morning sun so brilliant it tattoos smiles on our faces.  We look around in wonder at the effect the light has on the wildflowers growing between the rocks.  We hear the birds and the waves and the little sounds that have been here long before us and will be here long after.


  And then we turn around, muster our courage and might, and bike. up.  that.  hill.  Yes, pedaling should be about nice smooth circles, but in this case, we'll settle for a slow, staccato march on the pedals.  Don't panic, it's not that big a hill.   Just aim for that little tree up ahead.  And here we go.  No, you're not stuck at a standstill, let alone slipping backwards.  You're doing awesome!  Strong hams, strong quads -- they're working!  Yippee!  We did it!  We passed the tree and are back on our way!


  Hm.  A friend lives down this street; let's bike down the street and explore.  Huh.  Never been over there before.  What's that?  Oh how pretty!  Hey, look over there!  And back up the street.


  And now the street of other friends, the street with a couple nice up-and-downs.  Pass the nice lady who calls out Hello from her front step.  And wheeee!wegodownthehillsuperfastandourmomentumcarriesusacrossandhalfwayuptheretill we have to start pedaling again.  And, oh!  The lake!  Don't linger too long because we'vegotanotherhilltoridedownlickedysplitwheeeeeeeee!  And up again.  Pass the nice lady who calls out something about inspiring her to ride her bike.  Smile and wave, keep pedaling.


  Pedal, pedal, pedal.  Intersections and bumps.


  Around the corner.


  And home again.



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

July 19: Hooray!

  When the thunder woke me during the night, I thought there was no way I could get a morning swim in.  When I awoke and saw the clock blinking 4:23, I promptly called Time & Weather to learn it wasn't yet 6:00.  Out of bed, check the weather, and to the pool.


  I swam what I need to swim for the triathlon, and then some.  Whenever I started picturing myself being slow and left behind, I concentrated on my arms slicing through the water, still strong.  I thought about rolling my shoulders and about exhaling through my mouth (I'm not going to drink lake water again on Sunday!).  I swam, I felt like an athlete, and I felt good. 


  When I was content with how much I swam, I was all set to head to the lane with the ladder and climb out.  I can't remember how long it's been since I've climbed out of the pool at the side, but I do remember it being an awkward job.  However, someone was not only using the lane with the ladder in it, but was resting by the ladder, so I waited.  And waited.  And waited. Finally I decided to see whether I could hoist myself out of the water. 


  Holy cow – it was effortless!


  When did that happen?  When did my arms and shoulders become that strong?  Believe you me, there's a lot here to hoist.  Grinning like a fool, absurdly proud of doing what my kids do on a regular basis (I'm even teaching my 3-year-old how to do it), I toweled off and headed for the locker room.  After a while, the woman who'd been by the ladder came by and said how impressed she was at me just jumping out of the water like that.  She said she couldn't do it, and that's why she takes a ladder lane.


  How about that!  A little  accomplishment I was ready to poo-poo away turned out to be impressive to someone other than me. 


  And as I headed across the parking lot, with the sun coming up in the east and the wind turbine spinning lazily in the south, I thought once again of how much I love these morning swims. 



Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18

  Please forgive a lack of blogs lately.  I'm wrapped up in thinking about the upcoming triathlon (just 6 days away!) and not suffocating in this infernal weather.  I'm still going to the gym, eating imperfectly (shoot!), and wishing everyone the best along the way.




Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 17: Sunny Days

  A great big "good luck and have fun" to everyone in the Johnnycake Jog.  What a perfect day!  I'm looking forward to reading about your experiences.  J


  On the home front:

·         We're two-thirds through our July birthdays (two in one week!). 

·         Serving homeless families this week, I was reminded of gratitude.

·         I've switched from cow's milk to almond milk, and my system seems to be much happier.

·         New Rx seems to be easing issues.  I'm encouraged this morning - hurrah!

·        With hot weather ahead, I've been scouring the internet and my cookbooks for healthy, won't-overheat-the-kitchen recipes.

·         Still to come in July: triathlon, hubby's birthday, final weigh-in.


  I figured the best way for me to handle the month of July is to not weigh myself at all.  My goal is to be at 229 for the final weigh-in.  It seems unattainable, but it's something to work towards and is slightly within the realm of possible.  Here's hoping I can be pleasantly surprised on the 30th!