Monday, October 4, 2010

Why We Do What We Do.

I haven't done any art work in a while, Brenna and I are getting over colds, which also means I haven't taken pictures of much. So, I think I will tell you a story over the next couple of days......

Have you ever thought about why you do what you do?
Not just in art, or blogging, but if someone says, "Hey! You should give this a try!" Before you know it, you are waist deep into their suggestion.
Would you like to know what I am waist deep into right now?
I can hardly believe it myself.
In two weeks,
I'm going to do an ultra-sprint triathalon.
Please. Please notice the words "ultra-sprint" here, and not so much the triathalon part.

I might need to explain a few things first.
Let's begin with my athletic ability.
 My p.e. teacher in junior high told my Dad I was horrible at p.e., and my mom just revealed that between me and the awful swim teacher I had as a kid, she didn't think I would ever learn to swim. I was on a co-ed softball team in my early twenties. I played catcher. Not very well. For instance, when I threw the ball back to the pitcher, it would bounce before it reached him and if a run was coming in, I ran behind the fence to the pitcher could take over. I was pretty brave, though, really.

I didn't seriously begin exercising until I was about 38. I don't run well. It hurts my hips. I can do weights and  have really learned to like spin class and kick-boxing over the years. Forget step class. I love my YMCA. I like to walk. I like the eliptical and treadmill machines. I have never learned to skate or roller skate and I have NEVER been on a pair of skiis. Nor do I plan to. I like bowling. I'm pretty good at WII bowling...but I digress.

So, when my friend from my beloved YMCA said, "Hey! You should give this a try!" She was talking about this here triathalon. It's all women and it raises awareness for Ovarian Cancer. When I realized she was serious, well, I have to admit. I was flattered. It seemed doable. I mean, a full blown Ironman Triathalon is a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and then a full marathon. The Olympic distance is .93 mile swim,  24 miles on a bike and a 6 mile run. Then there is the Sprint distance. It is a .6 mile swim, a 12 mile bike ride and a 3 mile run. My husband does the Sprint distance. With ease. 

Then there's mine.
1/3 mile swim. 6 mile bike ride. 1.5 mile run.
It is an open water swim. But I like the beach, right? I've always played in the water. How hard could it be to swim it?

I began by calling Brenna's previous swim coach and asked if she could help me out. The pool we practice in is a 25 meter pool. I could make it down one length and then I was heaving and gasping for air, wondering if she could see my heart beating through my chest.. She also told me I needed to work on my legs, hips, arms, breathing, head, head rotation, keep my hands cupped...you get the picture. I had a problem on my hands.  I have to tell you. I am way past 40 and when I have to think of six different things at once while under water, it is just plain hard. PLUS wondering if I'm going to run out of air. Not so good. So, I geared up and bought myself a pair of goggles and a swim cap. (I seriously remember my cap from when I was a kid. It looked something like this. It was thick and  it smelled so rubbery.

I'm happy to report that my cap now is NOT like this, but I do fear I will loose my forehead in the process of putting it on.
Then I bought the suit.
A "swimming" suit. For swimming.
Let's just say I'm not one of those long, lithe swimmers on the High School Team. I found one online, purchased it and promptly sent it back.  Huh uh. No way. Not me.
Then I went to Sports Chalet and sweated my way through trying to find the right size, which I truly believe does not exist, but I somewhat found one, purchased it and threw myself back into the pool. You know the saying, "The clothes make the woman"? I think maybe the "swimsuit does not make the swimmer."

Let's also notice that this model is about 20 years old. Maybe. It's for certain she hasn't had children yet, nor does she suffer from mid-life "WHERE did THIS come from" while turning around to look in the mirror.  Even though I thought for sure I would automatically look like this when I put it on.  It didn't happen. Huh. Who knew? At least I get a good workout just putting it on.

Anywho, I have been working on my swimming and have progressed to a modest 28-33 laps. Without heaving and thinking I am going into cardiac arrest!!!!!!!  Each week my coach and I would go over and over what she said, and then I would get in the pool by myself later to practice  and forget everything she taught me. Then we would have a lesson and over and over we would go, until one day...one truly amazing, holy day, I GOT IT. Yup. I still have to go through everything in my head each and every time I practice, but it's pretty much there!

Now, the biking is not so hard for me. I do not have a racing bike, but It's not a beach cruiser either. It's kinda like this:

The seat is thicker and the tires aren't those skinny deals that are on the racing bikes.
I can cruise around pretty well.
The running, however is a challenge. My legs truly do not want to comply, so I run as far as I can and then walk a bit, then run some more. I can almost do the whole length on the treadmill, but when I get out in the open, my body says, "WHOAH. You are so kidding, right??" So, I just do the best I can.

Doug and I took a trip to practice in the bay last week, so in my next story telling, I will give you the 411 on what it's like to put on a wet suit for the first time........

Have a good day!!


  1. OMG...you inspire the HELL out of me!!!! I would never had even let that thought enter my mind & then to go into training for it...you ROCK my friend!!!! I can't wait to here the next installment!!!
    Big Hugs & a huge HIGH FIVE...

  2. Wow, I am really impressed, Lynn~ fun to see you go for it! I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next!

  3. Well, I have had a good laugh and I am proud of you! The laugh came with me picturing myself in your situation. Gym class memories came flooding back! The swimsuit now as much as they cost they could at least make us look good. The swimming, Wow! I am impressed.

  4. I'm completely impressed. I want to say INSPIRED like someone else did, but doesn't that mean that I'm prompted to DO something about my being so impressed? Like do it myself? I thnk so...

    And I can't ever see myself having the ooompahs to DO what you do. I'm just really impressed.

    Seriously... this is stand up and cheer for Lynn time.

    (especially since I have a friend who is an ovarian cancer survivor. Yep... 11 years and counting!!)

  5. That sounds amazing! It is so great to read about how you are just sticking in there and getting it done! Fantastic!

  6. Lynn,
    I am amazed! the reason I am amazed is that I have always seen you as a very athletic women who would look wonderful (for your age, of course) in a bathing suit. In fact, I remember thinking once that if I ever were to see you in real life (whatever is real), you would not know what to do with me because I am so unathletic, particularly with the fibro. I came in last in the 400 yard walk run every year in PE! Kat has congenital hips and I think I did, too, but it was missed. I have knee issues because the hips are a bit crooked.

    I salute you for doing this with some issues you were born with. I am dazzled, sweet pea!!!

    Go for it.



  7. WOW! I am so impressed, I am way over 40 also and I don't know if I would atempt this. I can swim pretty good and can ride a bike pretty good.. But I can't run worth a hoot... I can't wait to see how this turns out.. I will cheer you on my friend..

    YOU GO GIRL.... Hugs, Linda

  8. WOW! I'm amazed and impressed. There is definitely some athletic prowess in that body of yours. I might be able to run and bike (if I practiced for a REALLY long time) but unless they permit the dog paddle for the swimming I'd be tough out of luck. You go girl!

  9. Oh my!

    This is so cool!

    Except for the swimsuit part.

    I would just die if I was seen out in public in a swimsuit.

    Maybe if I laid off all the hotdogs and the cookies and the....


    I do like the flower petal swimming cap though.

    Now that I would wear.

    Perhaps everyone would be so busy looking at my flower petal swimming cap that they would not notice the rest of me....


    You rock, Mz. Lynn!!!

  10. Dear Erma, It took me a few minutes to collect myself after seeing the swim cap on the manequin. I haven't wet my pants in a loooong time...not since your daughter was about 7 years old. Screw what you look like in the swim suit...I"m sure you look FINE! Most women NEVER look like that model at any age. And that model??? She isn't doing an ultra sprint. OK, maybe spin class, but not what you're doing. Besides a swim would wash off her sprayed on tan. Meow...You are, and always have been amazing. Jock, artist, mom, wife, friend, humorist, angel. Just you...THE BEST!!