I was watching a terrible football game yesterday (we are 49er fans) when this message popped up on my phone.
If you’d have asked me, I’d have said I’ve been blogging for five or six years. Time does indeed fly when you’re having fun.
As for the Eagles winning the game instead of the 49ers, I’m excited because of a player from my daughter’s university, Britain Covey, who is on the Eagles. I’m a big Britain Covey Fan.
Britain’s grandfather is Stephen Covey who wrote “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and owned Franklin Day Planners. Britain played football at the University of Utah while my daughter swam. Although 5’8″ tall, was quick, smart and returned punts for touchdowns, up to 98 yards I believe. He was a team leader of the Utes.
I never thought he’d make it into the pros, let alone to the Super Bowl as an undrafted rookie!
If you follow football, who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl?
How many years have you been blogging? Does it seem longer or shorter than the actual time?
Yesterday while I was fighting anxiety — I had a reservation for lap swimming. I looked forward to going to the pool and swimming a few laps. I knew it would help.
The day was gorgeous with blue skies and white fluffy clouds. Everything looked washed clean after two days of rain.
I got to the pool 15 minutes early and lo and behold! There was only one person swimming instead of the usual five. The coveted middle lane was empty!
I quickly put my gear — fins, pool buoy, kickboard and Hyrdoflask — on the deck in front of the center lane. The reason why the center lane is best is it’s a single lane. They allow two swimmers in the other lanes. I tend to run into the wall or hit the lane line while sharing.
Since starting over with swimming, I’m at a measly 1,000 yards. That used to be my warm-up when I swam with a coach and a team. It’s harder swimming without a coach and people to push you. But I’m working on consistency with showing up. If it’s only 1,000, at least it’s a place where I can build from.
A man entered the one empty lane. I kept my head down and swam, thankful that nobody had to share that day.
“You’re slowing down,” he said to me later.
“I’m almost done!” I said. I was at 950 yards.
“No getting out. Don’t be a slacker,” the man said.
I kept swimming, embarrassed to get out. Finally, I was getting tired at 1,400 yards. The man was at the opposite end of the pool so I quickly got out before he guilted me into more yardage.
When he was back at the wall I explained that I normally swam 1,000 yards but had swam 1,400. He replied with fist raised in the air “YES!”
I came home tired, free from anxiety and had an amazing night’s sleep.
In what areas do you find it helpful to be pushed by other people?
In order to swim, you have to make a reservation for a one-hour block.
The Y has three lanes — a very small pool. Two of the lanes can accommodate two swimmers. So there are five swimmers per hour. The center lane only has one swimmer so it’s the coveted lane. You don’t have to share if you’re there.
Yesterday there were seven swimmers. Then it became eight.
The lifeguards don’t like confrontations so they list the five reservations for each hour on a white board. I double checked to make sure I showed up at the correct time. I did.
Two of the swimmers, an old man and woman, were really upset. The old guy was standing in the center lane waiting for a woman swimming laps to stop and get out. I got in one of the shared lanes and began my laps.
There was a loud discussion about the woman swimming in the center lane. Apparently she came 30 minutes early and she had a reservation at the same time as me and the old man. There’s no rule against getting in an empty lane if it’s available. But the old man was furious.
“I wasted 10 minutes waiting for the center lane,” he yelled at the lifeguards. Another woman joined him and they stood in the pool arguing with lifeguards for a good 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, I swam back and forth, head down minding my own business.
Finally a lifeguard came out with the names of reservations on a clipboard and asked me what my name was.
One person got out. The upset older man and woman wasted most of their lap swimming time pondering over if it was legal to get in the pool in an empty lane before your allotted time.
If the lifeguards were more proactive the brouhaha could have been avoided. Check people in and mark them off on the white board.
Life is too short — and an hour is a short time to swim. Why waste it?
What are your thoughts about the man and woman who were upset and arguing with the lifeguards?
It’s the practice of doing something regularly to develop a habit.
I am consistently inconsistent with my swimming. It’s because swimming isn’t easy. I also don’t like getting my hair wet.
Seriously, I have a lot of hair and it’s a pain to wash, comb and dry. I’d like to wash my hair only a few times a week — but when you’re swimming in chlorine you have to wash your hair after every swim.
I’ve been swimming off and on for seven years. I had some good excuses why I skipped swimming. A torn ACL, knee and cataract surgery and then COVID shutdowns. All together, that took me out of the pool for a few years.
This time back in the pool, I’ve decided the secret is consistency. I’m starting slowly, two days a week, swimming 1,000 yards — which was my warm-up in Masters. I began with kicking five days a week in my backyard pool to get the hang of getting back in the water.
Then I headed to the YMCA to lap swim. I could push myself and do more yards or more days, but I’m gradually going to build. I went from walking each day to adding swimming and barre classes and ended up with a pulled muscle. At my age, I’ve learned my lesson.
Start off easy, develop a habit and build. Be consistent.
I wrote about consistency and parenting that was published on SwimSwam. You can read it HERE.
I wrote about my first day of swimming US Masters HERE.
What are your secrets to developing good habits whether it’s working out or other aspects of your life?
For one week, I’ve gotten in the pool each day to kick. Tuesday I went back to the Y for the first time in months and lap swam.
Why did I stop with the lap swimming? Mostly it was the weather. Summer in the Arizona desert is cloudy with daily thunderstorms and lightening. Not ideal outdoor swimming weather.
If it’s not storming it’s brilliant intense sunshine which I tend to avoid. Before I knew it, I was out of the lap swimming habit.
I’ve been following “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron for years. At least most of her routine of morning pages, prayer and daily walks. The thing I’ve been missing is the “artist’s date.”
My excuse before was COVID shutdowns.
Now I have no excuse. The artist date is to go out — alone — and experience something to feed your muse. Cameron’s suggestions are looking in antique and fabric stores, go anywhere that will fill your senses and spark your creativity.
I’m going to try a once-a-week date with myself. I’ve added two days of lap swimming, and three days of kicking — now an artist’s date. I think that’s quite enough for now!
What is your morning or daily routine? What would you like to add to it?
It’s hot. Hotter than at my home in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and we are at the beach. It topped 104 degrees in Santa Barbara yesterday. The only cool place to be is in the ocean.
Taking the advice of fellow blogger of Living in the Gap, Cheryl Oreglia, I bought a boogie board. She didn’t say “buy a boogie board.” She asked if we’d done anything spontaneous lately. If you don’t follow her or read her blog, you’re missing out. She has her first book under contract that will be released in 2023. You can find out more from her latest posts.
I haven’t been in the ocean for several years. First it was my knee surgery from a ski accident. That was 2018 and I was sporting the heavy ACL brace you see on NFL players. Not a good thing for the ocean. Then I worried about waves and babied my knee the next year. The following year there were the Great White Sharks.
I watched my son’s girlfriend surf for hours every day while they visited. She inspired me. I remembered the days when I’d ask the lifeguards to watch my kids while I swam out to a buoy or did a bit of boogie boarding. Then I boogie boarded with my kids as they got older.
The other day, I was hot and I wandered into the ocean knee deep to cool off. It dawned on me — my knee is okay. Also, I had cataract surgery. I don’t have to worry about losing my hard contact lenses that I wore from seventh grade to age 59! Woohoo! One drop of water on my eyes and I’d lose my contacts. It really restricted my ocean adventuring.
I decided to rent a boogie board where my son’s girlfriend rented her surfboard — at the surf shop a quarter mile down the beach from where we hang out. $15 for one to three hours. But I was at the grocery store when I saw a boogie board on sale for $15 because it’s the last weekend of summer. Tough choice.
So I did it. I got back into the ocean after four or five years and I feel like a kid again. The perfect end to our beach vacation. Even with the heat wave. Or especially BECAUSE of the heat wave.
Are you having a heat wave? How do you survive the heat?
Have you done anything spontaneous lately? What was it?
Things are going swimmingly except for a heat wave. It’s cooler than back home in our Arizona desert, but it’s too hot to hike in the afternoon.
We visited the same week of July in the summer of 2020. In the afternoons, when my husband was done working, we would hike on trails that wind through the ski slopes.
This year, we’re doing a morning walk to Main Street along a tree-lined path with a bubbling creek. We did the same walk in the 2020 mornings, too. This year, the morning walk is the highlight of my day, because the afternoons are too hot for the mountain hikes.
Instead of sitting inside reading or watching TV, we’re hitting the pool to cool off.
Yesterday afternoon, the pool was filled with several groups of families and kids. I found a spot along one wall where I could swim. I watched two sisters in the deep end throwing a ring and diving after it. The older sister, a teen, got out when she saw me attempting to swim laps.
“Who am I going to play with?” little sister complained.
“That woman is swimming,” the teen explained.
I thought, “I’m swimming on one edge of the pool. They have most of the deep end to continue tossing the ring and diving.”
My husband decided to sit on the steps. I plowed on determined to get my exercise.
“Little sister” would do a backward somersault right in front of me every time I reached the deep end to turn. I had to swim around her. Next, a nine-year-old boy named Oscar would cut in front of me across the pool swimming as fast as he could. It seemed to be a game for him to push off across the pool and barely miss me.
“Why won’t you join me and swim?” I asked my husband.
“I don’t have the patience you have,” he explained. “I’d end up saying something and look like an asshole to the kids.”
I finally gave up after about 20 laps of dodging little sister and Oscar. We headed to the jacuzzi. Strangely, as soon as we got out of the pool, the kids did too. I guess I was their entertainment. They weren’t having much fun without harassing the middle-aged woman who was trying to swim laps.
I think if I was “little sister’s” mom, I would have asked her to swim and play away from the lap swimmer. The mom and dad were on chaise lounges relaxing. They didn’t say a word.
What would you have done if you were the parent? If you were trying to swim laps, would you have continued like me or not try like my husband and let the kids play?