Monday, March 26, 2012

Accepting Awards

For whatever reason, I feel like I am now just getting the chance to reflect on some rather cool happenings in my life. Better late than not at all, I suppose?

Being honored with an award has always been (I hate to admit it) quite an excruciating experience for me. I much prefer the wallflower status that felt most comfortable for me as a child. The limelight or spotlight or any descriptive light is a very challenging place for me to be, yet I feel that--in order to pursue those things that are so important in my brain-- I must just get over it.

I was honored at the Sportswoman of the Year banquet, for the second year in a row! It was such a wonderful evening being surrounded by such like-minded and fierce women, that one couldn't help but to leave inspired... yet feeling a little short in stature. My dad was continually commenting on the "size of those girls". 

One thing that DID surprise me, however; was the fact that I finally realized that I really wanted everyone to know just what I had accomplished... and that it actually mattered to me. For the past year and a half, I have struggled with my modesty, particularly because it has never seemed to help me come race day. Now being the grown version of that wallflower child, embarrassment seems to set in when things are mentioned such as accolades or awards or achievements, or any of those "a-sort of" words. 

Yet, the realization was set in when receiving my award, mid-shake, and overhearing, "she has managed to set 3 American records..."

"I have 9 or 10!" I exclaimed (luckily) in my head. Starting to pay more attention to what was said, I wondered, "Where is the stuff about the Pan Am Games?"

Apparently, I must care... and apparently, I must be pretty proud.

Better late than not at all, right??

Monday, March 5, 2012

Time to Break the Break

When I decided to take a small break from the water, I didn't really anticipate the feelings that would follow. Longing, unease, restlessness... I feel like I'm in the middle of a very torrid and prolonged break-up of sorts.

It's terrible.

I feel a constant sting in my gut, as if I am about to take off on a plane and have left all of my luggage at home. A part of me has been lost and the posters that I've nailed on street signs haven't aided a recovery in the slightest.

I am on day 3 of a supposed 4-day break. It has been over a year and a half since I have taken a break from swimming this long (that is if you don't count the forced 4 days that I had to recover from a minor surgery last year). I know as an athlete and as a coach that bodies need time to recover and recuperate from time to time. I know that I have been fighting sneaky viruses that have made their homes in my larynx, sinuses, and nose over the last two weeks. I know that my body is not as resilient as it used to be.

With all of that said, I'm jumping back in first thing in the morning. Three days is three days enough. I am still feeling the rumble of a (self-)shocking meet performance just over a week ago. After having been sick and lethargic for a few days, I hopped into the pool and swam 8 events in three sessions, coming within a second or two of all of my best times... and even re-breaking my favorite event American Record by over 14 seconds!

I'm on a good track, and I know this precisely because of my swim break. My life doesn't feel complete without swimming in it. So, the only thing to do is to get right back in and keep striving for my own greatest potential--my own human effort, with a smile and any grace that this clutzy girl on wheels can muster.