It’s a new year. I thought about New Year’s resolutions and really the only one I could come up with was to develop the habit of hanging up my swim towel and bathing suit immediately upon returning home after my workout.
But I like that resolution. You see, the resolution presumes that I’m going to be swimming, after all — a habit I’ve developed pretty solidly since the middle of last August or so.
I’ve been looking at my progress. It’s been so-so. I’ve dropped my average mile time down about eight minutes. That’s cool and all, but I need to drop it down another eight before some swims I intend to do this summer.
So, yeah, coaching. I’m lousy at accepting coaching, but in the Rule One* category, I really need to. Open water swimming can be dangerous. The “can be” moves to “is” if you don’t follow Rule One. And that’s going to mean coaching.
I’m eyeing the idea of developing a tolerance for colder water with a bit of despair. I hate cold, and I train in a pool that runs between 78 and 80 degrees. While I’m completely happy to put this off until about May or so, I’m going to have to get in the water then and start building up a tolerance. I signed up for the Sharkfest in the non-wetsuit category.
I did not do this out of any real macho sense. I did it because I’m five-two, and even if my diet goes well, will be weighing over 200 lbs by my swimming events. They simply do not make wetsuits in my size. Sure, sure, they make them for large people, but they make them for people whose size is at least in part due to height. For someone as short as me? Not so much, and certainly not for a price that won’t make me curl into a little ball sucking my thumb. Women my size are not often athletes. It happens, yes, but we’re not typical.
And yeah, I’ve got some pipe dream ideas about swims I’d like to do. But the only way to make a pipe dream a reality is to take daily incremental steps. One of those steps is most certainly developing cold tolerance.
I’ve been reading Loneswimmer a lot because he seems to obey Rule One (except for his habit of swimming alone 😉 ) and has written some detailed material on the biology of cold reaction and hypothermia. I suppose living in Northern New England near a really great hospital might come in handy. One would think they’re moderately expert in dealing with hypothermia.
There are other things I will be doing this year. Not so much resolutions, but things I need to do more, or do less. One of them is simply to create more. I need to knit more, write more blog posts, and sew more. Not want to. Need to. I do think the measure of a life revolves around what one creates. I don’t necessarily mean objects, mind. It could be a home, a family, a piece of software, a community or an idea. But I do think as humans what we do that matters most is in what we create. So much so that if I spend more time consuming than creating, I feel badly both mentally and spiritually.
It’s probably why I rather like cosplayers, the SCA, indie gamers, little bloggers, and all of that. It might be a little hobby, but it’s creating!
So what am I creating as a swimmer? A stronger, healthier body? Yeah. And it’s why I got into it. But to be honest, I keep up with it because I like it, and I’m happy when I am doing it. Probably I need something in my life where I turn off the information input flow and just BE for a bit.
*grin* And if you argue that means that turning off and not creating for a while is important, I’ll point out that most of the ideas for this article came to me while I was face down staring at that black line. I don’t listen to music or anything like that when I swim. I let my mind roam, poke at problems, and use my time in the pool to think. (When I am not trying to do a certain amount of math to quantify my workout, that is!)
Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? If you do, are they guided by a principle in your life? If so, what are they?
* Do not be a fu^h^h^h fornicating idiot.