Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Can't Tell Time Nor Can I Count

In the last 12 hours I’ve realized that I can’t tell time and I can’t count!

I started a Master Swim class last week!  This is my first time with a real group class with real drills.  I've download workouts online and given them a try. Typically I translate them into words that I understand.  What went through my head yesterday was frickin CALCULUS, not swim drills!! Which by the way I failed not once, not twice but THREE TIMES in my education career!

So we start out with 3 x 100 warmup any style.  Um ok, great.  25 meter pool, 100 meters is 4 lengths or 2 laps = do that 3 times.  Why can’t they just say do 6 laps?

Next (that I remember) was a 6 x 75 with 25 doing a 3 x3 right then 3x3 left then 50 sprint.. wait WHAT? WHAT?  That’s one length of the pool keeping one hand out dragging the other arm out of the water three times, then switch until you get to the end, then sprint a lap (up and back).  Do this 6 times.

Um.... I have no idea how many laps I did.  Add to this odd new drill count, a special 25, a sprint 50, I count my breaths 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3.. oh and now I am starting to count my total STROKES in the water to get to each side.. I just kept seeing numbers flying all over the place.  At one point I forgot to breathe.  WHAT number am I ON?? 4? Wait what does 4 mean,?  did I forget to breathe at 3?? AHHH..

Seriously, let’s simplify, one lap down concentrating stroke on right half way, then left other half then sprint back.  Do it again.  Do this 12 times.

Next was something like a pull drill, since I do total immersion we don’t do that, so I worked on “ZERO” kicking, it was good because I could concentrate on my rotation. This was nice, of course it was 2 x 100 or 4 laps, WHY CAN’T THEY JUST SAY "DO 4 LAPS?"

This went on for an hour. My brain hurt, more than my body.  I think I need to go back to the daycare they have upstairs and learn how to count!  Man it’s difficult! No wonder newbies are afraid of swimming!  Guys it's not this difficult!

I got home around 9PM – that class is a late one for me!  Packed my bag for my Wed spin and no sooner did I go to sleep it was 4:15AM and time to get cracking.

The YMCA has a very popular spin class at 5:45AM.  You have to call 24 hours in advance; the class sells out in less than 2 minutes! I was on the list so no problem, right? (WRONG)!   I set my watch by NPR time because you have to be there 5 min before the start of class or someone on the wait list gets your bike.  Today I got to the spin-door at 5:40 only to find out that my bike was given away.  SOO frustrating, but I look around and there is a clock OUTSIDE the room with: 5:44; my watch: 5:40;  the instructors’ watch: 5:41:  the clock inside the room 5:43.  The clock upstairs 5:44!  GRRR what a waste of a 30 minute drive and getting up 2 hours BEFORE THE SUN!  All for ONE STINKING MINUTE?  So much for peeing before my work-out!

I guess I need to learn how to tell time in multiple clocks!  (for those that might say, get there early, sure that could work but there’s not much to do for me except stand there and wait for the instructor to open the door)!  Ooh fun!  I'll see about moving to a different YMCA with less stress.

It’s funny how 1 minute can just turn a day so sour!

Daycare, here I come! Laura's going to learn how to COUNT and TELL TIME!

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Does Size Matter?

Does size matter?

Sorry guys, not what you think.. so you can stop reading!

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while.  I’m stuck in this weird limbo between so many things. I’m a big girl for my height.  I’m a slow girl for my strength.  I’m a strong girl for my genetic disorder.  I’m pretty small for the Athena class. I’m annoyingly small for my counterparts who also write about size and weight loss!   I’m big and slow for my triathlon experience!  And I’m a tiny girl (5'1) for a basketball player :). Ok I don’t play basketball, but you get the point.  Does size matter?

I’m overweight, hence the tongue in cheek blog name.  I have 30 lbs to lose to be ‘healthy’; 40 if I wanted to be competitive in triathlon; hell I have 50-60 to lose to be anywhere near triathlon champions.  Here’s the thing, I have no desire to be THAT thin.  The champion women have no boobs, sorry ladies; I’m keeping my D’s, (so maybe 50 is the number).

I’m stuck in this weird limbo.  I’m athletically past many of my friends who don’t compete, but I’m also bigger than all of them.  I can ride longer, swim faster, and well… run/walk eh? Do a triathlon, let’s go with that!  They all look at me like I’m crazy.  (Although I truly believe, unless a MEDICAL condition is an absolute no-no, you can do ANYTHING you put your mind to)!!! 

Then move onto those I work out with: I sit in my spin classes looking at these fit people; the guy in front of me today had RIPPED calves!  I mean it could have been a college level anatomy class with his legs! I am clearly the largest person in the room by 20%.  I jiggle when I spin, regardless of how ‘good’ my form is!  I look around and see toned legs, tight butts,  tiny people, and lots of muscle – for a moment it’s depressing. Then, I look at some of THEIR form.  Many are hanging on the handlebars, have their seats basically at the floor, have their handlebars set at “Harley chopper”  - um ok? How’d you get those legs? Perhaps genetics.  I wasn’t blessed with THAT gene.  Then I remember what I tell myself AND others;  “it’s NOT about other people, it’s about ME.. how am I doing, am I giving my best effort?”  - OK step it up.. push harder!   STOP comparing myself to those peeps! 

Then move on to my friends who also have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.  They also look at me like I’m crazy, but for another reason!  It is sort of in ‘awe.’ Every time I go out and do something I think of every one of them, and everyone that CANNOT do this type of activity for that matter!  I look like a speed demon.  The fact that I rode a thousand miles last summer training was just unfathomable to them.  They didn’t care that it took me 10 + hrs to do the PMC day 1, they were more impressed with me DOING 110 miles! (followed by 82 the next day)!  I am so thankful that with this disorder, I have figured out how to make my body ‘work’ without hurting it.

I keep finding people that come to my blog, some leave messages (without contact info), and say “I used to do tri’s but I hurt this or that.” I really wish they would contact me so I could tell them there are ALTERNATIVE ways!   - Anyway, the thought of being ABLE to do this is amazing, ESPECIALLY knowing what is wrong with my body!  I get so caught up in why I can’t catch my ‘normal’ friends, and completely forget this part.  It has ZERO and I mean ZERO impact on my size. Just the fact that I can move and I’m off the couch, not in much pain is amazing!  (My Zebras, I do this for you, always)!

I have reached a point where I’m not sure where I FIT.  AM I Goldilocks here?  Surely there's a 'just right' place for me!   Those that I typically work out with (outside) have surpassed me.  They can run faster, bike faster, etc.  They have moved onto longer triathlons. I feel totally bad because I have to tell them – “LOOK I’m frickin SLOW” – they don’t get it, until they take a ride with me and are like “oh, Sh!t” that’s what you meant? – then they don’t come out again.”  Or I get invited to a run where I know I’ll see them in the beginning and I know they’ll go home before I’m done.  I can’t get past the ‘feeling bad.’ I need to find a new crop of ‘slow people’! The problem is I have DISTANCE!  A 12 mile bike ride seems like a warmup.  When I go, I want 20+!!  and I LOVE the 60+ mile bike rides!

I have found a group of Athena’s and discovered that I’m “small” to them.  If they saw me in the Athena category, they would ask “are you sure you are big enough to be here?” – Do I fit in? I’ve ridiculed people for being 6’1 and 150 and registering as Athena, perhaps I should stop that!  Why are they there? OR  Maybe I don’t “fit in” with the “real athenas” Maybe I do.. I feel like one.. I identify with One.. I love the Athena in me! I know she's there!

I’ve written about amazing Athena’s, losing 100+ lbs and doing triathlons, even IRONMAN– nope that’s not me.  But do I get a pass because of the EDS? (Why SHOULD I get a pass for the disorder? Just frickin do it, right? ). 

Size is so relative, what is big, what is small? What is normal? Really, it’s about HEART! And DEDICATION!  And the friendships you develop through the sport.

If you haven’t tried a triathlon yet, please do.  I promise you, it is NOT as scary as it sounds!  And for some of you that are scared to step it up in triathlon, DO IT!  You know who you are!!  You have all the heart you need!

Am I too big? Am I Too small? Perhaps I’m just right and size does NOT MATTER!

I do know I have heart, and crap, I don’t give up, that’s for sure!

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