Thursday, August 16, 2007

Health benefits of water running

That first post got me thinking about how those 1000 miles aren’t the only thing to celebrate.
I spent 16 long weeks on crutches from april to the end of july, but looking back on this summer it’s one of the last things that comes to mind. So often we focus on what we cannot do that we lose opportunities to see what is possible. The second week I was crutched up and told there was no way I could walk, let alone race the Rock n Roll marathon, I went to the pool…
I did my old lady water running (preferable term to aqua jogging) and swam some laps (after some dude asked me if I was learning how to swim- I guess water running is not too graceful- by the way, I was NOT even wearing one of those blue floatie belts- so I had to prove myself to dude).
I noticed some crutches beside mine in the lane next to me. I smiled inside at the warmth of having a “crutch” friend right next to me. I stopped my pal in the lane next to me when he reached the wall and asked cheerfully, “ Hey! Look! We’re both on crutches! What are you on for?”… He replied, “ I had my leg amputated 4 months ago.” This story goes on, and we became friends at the pool, but the lesson learned was unforgettable:
Be grateful and gracious for everything your body can do, and show your spirit by rising up instead of accepting defeat. That day at the pool was the last time I felt sorry for myself that I couldn’t walk or run for a few months…
So I didn’t walk, I didn’t run, but I did do some other things that had never even crossed my mind:
1) Yesterday, I swam 3 miles alone (well, not near anyone) in the ocean without my wetsuit. From La Jolla cove to Scripps pier and back. In the wake (or far behind the wake) of pro triathlete Jim Vance and in the midst of a few other triathletes sprinkled about. I was cold (always cold) , it was far, I played the “worst case scenario game” in my head (it was like flipping through cards labeled: shark attack, strangled by kelp noose, 6 foot jellyfish slimes me, lactic acid fatal leg cramp, choking on salt water ). Well, that game in addition to trying to remember my favorite song from every year since 1995 seemed to pass the time. It took me exactly 1 hr 45 minutes. And I remembered a lot of good tunes. And some bad ones.
2) I went from 0 laps in the past 10 years to swimming 6000+ meters a week. Even since the wretched swim video in July, I think I’ve gotten much better and I even get it when people talk about pulling and feeling the water and feeling fast. Sometimes, on occasion, I feel fast….ish. It’s fun. It’s great to be at an age where I finally listen to feedback and strive to learn all I can from experience.
3) Last week I hopped the train on a whim (seriously, woke up and was like, I feel like going somewhere) and rode to San Juan Capistrano to bike back down to San Diego. I was going to go alone, with no clue about what I was doing, but texted a spontaneous friend (Chuck! Muah!) who hopped on the train in Solana and rode with me. Topped off the perfect ride with a delicious beer and some good talks..the best day and so unexpected….when did I get so breezy? All this salt water must be making me crazy. P.S. SJC is the CUTEST little village ever. I like how its little, made me feel taller ☺
4) Mostly, I have met some of the most fun, genuine, legitimate folks around. Good folks. Folks you can have good clean fun with and ride bikes with and then have go and good fill in the blank fun with beers. Most of all, my San Diego Tri club friends (did I mention good people enough? The club even lets me do fake races at the club races and do the bike n swim sans run- AWESOME!), but also my ART guy, physical therapist, Sports MD (okay, a lot of these are health related, but girl had a broken leg, you know), roadie friend Justin who has saved me from several bike crises and faux pas, guys at High Tech who know me (like on Cheers), give me a hard time, and then help with the aftermath of my bike crises while I shop for cute bike clothes…and then there’s all the good folks you just see all the time everywhere and smile and say hi and you know they’d help you if they saw you on the side of the road.
5) Last night I heard from friends that Entourage was back. Had no clue. That was weird. I can’t believe I forgot about TV.
6) I signed up for the Mission Bay Triathlon (okay, back in April, but I had to, had to have a goal, even a mini one so I wasn’t just aimlessly committing Random Acts of Training . Its just a sprint (all I’m allowed for now)). Even if I have to walk the darn 3.1, I will do it…..and then, 70.3 in Oceanside in March…Is it March yet?
That’s it for now. Maybe no one will ever read this stuff, but I’d rather not forget it. Who knows what else may be added a year from now…