Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Lost...

...my sprint today.

Hopefully it will return for tomorrow's morning swim.

Monday, July 26, 2010

2 (Sort of) Firsts, Maybe 3

Today was a day for nearly firsts...

I spent the afternoon swimming outdoors in a 50-meter pool!

1) I forgot how amazing it f eels to swim outdoors, soaking up the sunshine. Years ago, I used to swim every morning by myself before I coached in the summer. I was the only one at the pool and it made for quite an intimate occasion. Just me and the water.

2) Long-course swimming has never been a huge pleasure for me. When I was a kid, I spent only a few moments training for such a pool because the long-course season was in the summer and my heart was dedicated to my neighborhood club and timing was reserved for them. I have to admit, it is very intimidating to start at one end and search longingly for the other. After a few laps, however, my body realized that the scared feelings I was having came only from my brain. My body quickly got to work, relishing in the fact that I didn't have to mess with turning on those stupid walls much.

The whole experience was fantastic and caught on tape. My best friend accompanied me, giving some much needed advice and capturing my movements on camera so that I could actually view something other than bubbles.

Watching myself swim is teaching me so much about my body. Doing the swimming is also teaching me so much about my body. Today, we realized that I may have one hip working, but only one. This knowledge is very exciting considering the last time I competed I had NO hips. (I suppose this can be considered a first too!)

Truthfully, I have never been so aware of my body... not even when I worked in calipers among stem cell injections. Never. Ever.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Sprint

It's been over 13 years since I have felt "the sprint." For some reason, ever since losing the use of my lower half I have also lost the use of my sprint.

It didn't matter how much I tried or how much I wanted it, I just couldn't seem to find it. Did it get swallowed whole by a giant whale? Did it find its way into an eternal game of Hide & Seek? Did it fall down the well without Lassie around?

Who's to say...

Nonetheless, today I found my sprint. I just hope it decides to stick around this time...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Beyond the Swim

Training is one thing, succeeding is another.

I am slowly learning that in order to succeed to the ultimate goal of making the Paralympic team in 2012 that training is only a fraction of this undertaking.

Other than swimming, I am spending a lot of time constructing sponsorship letters to try to get some of my dreams funded. Breaking down the expenses, this is going to be a long haul. My first meet in October is going to cost me over $1000, not to mention all of the expenses just to get to October!

I feel good about it all though. When I competed a decade ago, it didn't even enter my brain to try to receive sponsorships or donations. It didn't even dawn on me to attempt to gain publicity for my athletic endeavor. Perhaps that is what 10 years does for you. I suppose I am wiser and have different goals than I did back then.

Of course, the ultimate goal is to SWIM... but this time around I realize that there is actually so many other goals that spread out from there. Like the rays on the sun's shine. It's rather beautiful really.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Santa Clara Disability Meet

Done. It's in the mail.

My registration for my first swim meet in over a decade has been turned in. Signing up for the Santa Clara Swim Club Disability Meet in Santa Clara, CA has left my heart pounding, trying its best to tell me about the spectrum of excitement and nerves as it pumps blood to help me move.

The meet will be held on October 2nd and 3rd over the span of three separate swimming sessions. Throughout those sessions, I will be participating in around a half dozen events.

This is the first of, hopefully, a long string of events in learning: both in the emotional and mental sense, but also in a physical sense as well. I am learning through my training how to communicate between my brain and body much more than ever before.

The next step? Continue training and working on sponsorships. Of course, no dream comes without great cost (both figuratively and literally-speaking). I believe that this time around I will be smarter when tackling both.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dive In & Go!

Blogging, I have found through diving in head-first, has been an extremely meaningful way for connecting with others as well as with myself. So, it almost seemed necessary when attempting a new and exciting adventure in my life to write and chronicle those steps of that journey.

My latest journey, through the sport of swimming has been inside of me all along. However, it took a fairly unfortunate string of health-related events to find it...

I grew up as a swimmer; in fact, I was swimming in the local community pools before even learning how to take my first steps. Ironically enough, I have since given up those steps, but not given up on the swim.

Swimming is something that I believe will always be a part of me, in one way or another. I've taken the role of swimmer, captain, instructor, and coach; wearing each hat as proud as the next. Swimming has always been something that feels right to me, like smiling at a stranger. It is also something that feels necessary to me; like exhaling a breath.

However, in the past decade or so I have lost my sense for the swim; trading my goggles in for valid attempts at finding myself, all the while returning (ever so comfortably) to the pool. Right now my heart tells me it is time. It is time to let go of all my fears and hopes and just TRY.

My hope is that in trying I will become victorious at something. I will become healthier, stronger, more alive, and (most of all) learn a thing or two along the way.