Tuesday 23 August 2016

Me vs The Final Swim

This has been an interesting swim season for me. It’s had many ups and downs, new swim mates and coaches, and some definite challenges.

I may have finally learned to kick, albeit very slowly. It only took 4 coaches, two years, and many, many conflicting instructions for me to finally adapt a “special” style all my own.  It’s not a good style, but it works for me. More or less. Or less.

My Olympic career is probably over.

I realized this year that my stamina is poop. I could complete the first length reasonably well, but then I basically sunk after that.

I also realized that I’m getting old. The coach working with me was an astounding 17 years younger than me. Oh lord, even writing that is terrifying.  That said, she was an amazing swimmer, and was great to work with.  She was the first person to get my kicking with something resembling efficiency.

This year I also swam like a rock star. Not like a rock star in the sense that I was amazing and swam like a fucking boss, but more like I was a pretentious rock star who rented out the entire pool so I could swim alone without the unwashed masses bothering me. Fucking masses.

Or more accurately, I was often the only adult swimming during our time slot, so it was just me in the pool being watched by the coach, essentially getting a private lesson on how to suck less at kicking. It was very awkward.  

But now swimming is over and the final lap complete. My hair is straw-like and faintly green, my stamina is still pitiful, but marginally less so, and I actually miss the evening solo swim sessions.  

And unlike the kids in the swim club, the adults weren’t recognized for our swimming excellence at the awards night. This doesn’t bother me at all, but my daughter didn’t feel that this was fair, so she made me a medal for excellence in breast stroke, because it’s the stroke I’m the least worst at.

Here it is. It is possibly the best award I’ve ever received.
(I wonder if my other breast will be jealous?)

Until next year, swim fans. Just keep swimming...  :-) 

Saturday 13 August 2016

Me vs Shit Eyesight

Since my eyesight has been the subject of questions recently (Me vs Snakes and Being Blind), I thought I’d share the story of how my ivory tower of perfect vision was unceremoniously toppled by my loving husband.

Growing up I’d always had 20/20 vision. From a genetic standpoint this was lucky. My mom has more or less always required major vision correction, though my dad managed to make it much further in life before being required to hold things at arms length in order to read them.  I was doing pretty well.

I took pride in my ability to see things clearly. I could run, jump, and play without ever having to fuck with glasses or contacts. Friends would struggle with contact solutions, and fight the losing battle to keep sand and dirt out of their contacts while camping. I would just drink and go to bed. It was a time of happiness and blissful naiveté.

And then just like that, it was over.

I was in my mid-twenties, taking classes up at Simon Fraser University. As is the life of most students, much of my time was spent sleeping through lectures in giant halls, and desperately trying to catch up on reading while remembering sweet fuck all of what I had just read.

The last thing I needed was some dumb shit professor who couldn’t focus the damn overhead.

Every day that I sat in his class I silently berated him. I questioned how this man has received a PhD in anything, given the fact that he was bordering on incompetent. How could someone so smart, be so incomprehensibly unable to bring a simple overhead into focus? The stupidity was astounding.

For weeks I would rant to my husband about how this idiotic man was singlehandedly ruining my GPA by making it impossible to follow along with his power point presentation. He asked me if anyone else had mentioned this.  I didn’t think so, but then I certainly didn’t talk to everyone. Or, frankly, anyone.

He looked down the hall and asked me to read the sign at the end of it.
Me: I can’t, it’s too far away.  Normal people can’t see things that far away. What’s wrong with you?
Him: I can read that.
Me: Bullshit.
Him: *reads sign*
Me: Fuck off, you’re guessing
Him: You need glasses

Well, shit.

I lived in denial for a time, constantly playing the “can you read that” game with unsuspecting participants. Eventually I gave up and went to the optometrist, who confirmed once and for all that my beautiful 20/20 vision was no longer. 

Oddly, she said, I was having trouble with distance, but up close was fine. She said that wasn’t normally something that developed later in life and suggested I should read less to let my eyes rest. Ha, that wasn’t going to happen.

My kids love to try on my glasses
And so now I have glasses (and thanks to online shopping, many pairs). I hardly wear them, and my prescription is laughably small compared to everyone I know, but the sting of losing perfection is still there.

Just below the surface.

At least I think it’s just below the surface….it’s a bit blurry out there.