Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Reasons why YOU should fall in love with Swimming!

I am from the south, the DEEP south, where accents are deep and tea is sugary sweet!  THE question is not what team do you cheer on, but rather "Alabama or Auburn".  THIS decides your status in the state.  A deep rich, FUN rivalry.  Football is EVERYTHING!  While I do enjoy Auburn football (WAR EAGLE!), I am a sweet southern Belle, after all.  Alabamian through and through!  There is another sport that holds my heart's strings and brings joy and excitement to my life.  If you know me at all, you know what this is!

There are a million reasons why one should fall in love and get into the sport of swimming.  I, myself, swam for 9 years competitively when I was young.  It holds a special place in my heart because it is such a HUGE part of my life.  I, however, am going to give you MY top 5 reasons:

1.  Swimmers really are the most down to earth athletes.  They love and appreciate their fans far more than any other sport.

2.  Swimming is a difficult sport, and unless you have ever done it, you can not imagine the pain, time, and dedication needed to be great at it.  Swimming uses every muscle in your body at all times! 

3.  Swimming gives back to the community endlessly!  When a swimmer becomes accomplished, their usual response is how can I use this to give back to those around me?  I know a lot of sports do this, but please see reason #1.  There is a certain genuineness in a swimmer you just do not find in any other sport.  They believe in the cause they support!

(You get the picture!)

4.  It is an individual AND a team sport!  You cheer on the team you want to win, be it a country, college, or program.  AND you can pick PEOPLE to cheer on!  I am of course a TEAM USA  and Auburn Swim fan.  However, I also follow several Australian, Japanese, etc swimmers who are VERY talented.  There is a flavor for everyone, and it is INTERNATIONAL!

5.  YOU can BE a swimmer NOW!  No matter what your age, you can get out there and get involved with the sport, NOW!  This sport has no age or skill limits!  Look over my blog.  Read my journey thus far.  I'm 31, and I am hoping to get back into the competition circuit, again.  If you are too old to swim in the collegiate or club level, you can get involved in the Masters program. 

These are just a FEW of the reasons I follow swimming.  I am a swimmer, and I adore this sport!  I hope that my enthusiasm will make you want to get your feet wet and dabble in the sport of swimming!  Open your heart and mind to an addictive, fun experience!  And go out an DO IT!

Monday, July 25, 2011

She's no Rebecca Soni!

Why oh why did I have my coach video me swimming for that sweet man I married?  It completely CRUSHED all the images in my head of what I looked like swimming!  First of all, isn't the water suppose to make us SKINNY!?  HELLO!  We are suppose to disappear under water!  Who forgot to inform my camera of this news????

Second, I KNEW I was slow!  But seriously!!!!!  I'm bringing the inhaler Wednesday and going ALL OUT!  I mean, I am barely moving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Please excuse the excessive use of punctuation, but I want you to "hear" my tone.)  I gotta work on that!  How is one to COMPETE, when one is BARELY moving!?  No wonder I am always sucking Mo's bubbles!

OK, so form.  Lastly, my form is not anything like what I imagine in my head.  I now understand what the Swim Nazi, I mean Denise (she can read this now!  hahahaha) meant when she told me I was too cautious with my stroke.  Why the heck are there no splashes???????????????  I am going to get this swimming thing done!  You guys just sit back and watch! 

Until then....lots of practice...I gotta work on my speed and splashes!

On another note, can I get a WOOP WOOP for 14th FINA World Championships????  JEAH!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Yeah, I did it!

Well, it is 800 degrees outside, but Roxanne and I still did our little jog!  I'm proud!  I probably did not jog as much as I think in my head that I did, but I feel like I jogged more than last time!  THIS is good news!  So yeah, I jogged in bazillion degree weather!  Go me!

Today I also did some weight training and my food diary is back on track.  I have been much more focused this week than I was last week.  Seeing the big picture!  It helps that I know how many calories I have to burn to lose weight!  Speaking of....

My scale has gone kaput!  I can't weigh myself anymore.  I don't know if this is a good thing or not!  I am obsessive about weighing myself, but not weighing myself takes away an element of accountability.  Not sure what to do about this.

Well, off to a soak in the tub and a warm snuggle with a sweet little man! Until tomorrow!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Say WHAT!?

Today I have good news and better news!  Ok, well it may not actually be good news to you, but it is for me!  So, I was the only one at Masters tonight.  (Side note: I find it interesting that adults pay for this program and don't show up to fulfill their commitments!  Isn't keep your promises what we preach to our kids?  Just sayin')

OK, so I am the only one there tonight, and I have coach Nazi to myself.  This is kind of a good thing since she was able to sit and really look at my stroke and help me with some technical things I know I am failing at.  I mean something I REALLY need to work on is my walls.  My turns are sloppy and slow, and I am breathing as I come off the wall.  In my defense, after a 16 year hiatus from the sport, I think I am doing pretty dang good!  I know my times can be shaved pretty tight if I can get my walls together though.

Also, I did a stroke I have not done in 16 years, butterfly.  I GOT A COMPLIMENT!!!!!!  I, Terri 31 year old Melvin, got a compliment from the coach...in BUTTERFLY!  For those not into swimming, fly is NOT an easy stroke.  It takes grace, coordination, strength, stamina....it's a tough tough stroke to master!  And my coach said (drum roll) "Your fly looks GREAT!"  OK, maybe this is not the greatest of all compliments to some of you, but if you know swimming, you know this is an honor!  Maybe it's just me since my very first meet at age 4 I swam the 25 yard fly....AND WON! 

So the good news maybe wasn't so much news but tiny compliments through the practice.  "Your strokes are great!  But you are just too careful with your free.  Your turn around is slow and you don't splash at all."  You might have missed the compliment there so let me back it up for you, "Your strokes are great!"  (Even said with enthusiasm!)  Granted my backstroke I tried to kill myself tonight!  But to know that my breaststroke and Butterfly actually look good after 16 years out of the pool...AWESOMENESS to the CORE!

We did a small set tonight, only 1900 yards, but it was a tough one!  600 warm up (300 swim, 200 pull, 100 kick)  12 x 50's (kick, drill, swim) fly, back, breast, free.  4 x 150 free negative builds with 30 seconds rest. (Final 150 is full on sprint)  200 cool down.  (Maybe it was a 2000yd workout)  The 3rd 150 I was sicking air!  And there Coach Nazi was cheering me on and telling me I could do it!  This is why i can't possibly actually hate this woman!  She is good people!

I feel tonight, like I have accomplished a lot since starting masters!  1. I no longer wear a swim dress, but a real speedo suit!  2. I am doing things I never dreamed I would actually attempt again (swimming fly!)  3. I FEEL better!  (I'm tired and sore, but in the best possible way)  4. I love this sport and everything about it, and now I am a participant, not just a spectator.  I have my sights set on a meet in Auburn in February!  Here's to reaching those goals!!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

1st 5k!!!!

I had a fun "workout" with my bub this morning.  We played Wii Fit.  I realized something, though.  Games are not fun for me.  I am a winner, and I am out to win!  I know, right?  So I am playing boxing with Alex and each time he doesn't do it exactly right I am like wanting to scream at him.  (Mom of the year right here)  But in the end I let him do his best, and he was happy so that's all that matters! 

I also sent out my registration for the very first 5k!  I will be participating in the 1st Annual Save-A-Life Santa Run!  So glad my friend, Roxanne, happened to notice it in our church bulletin!  I'm scared I won't be able to live up to expectations I feel like people have placed on me.  However, if I can just do it at all, I will be thrilled!  The last 5k I unwillingly participated in, I might have skipped through the course and found a short cut to the finish line....

Watch out people, today 5k, tomorrow 10k....the future.....?  IRON MAN!  OH YEAH!  I'm moving forward!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

2 Workouts

OK, so I didn't blog last night, but I have a good reason.  I really, kinda, had nothing to say!  I mean, I figure you would rather read something different than me telling you how hard swimming is or how tough I worked out...AGAIN.  So, today I have 2 workouts to blog.

First, I did my first OFFICIAL P90X workout.  KenpoX.  IT. WAS. AWESOME!!!!!!!!  It was like taking all the anger I was feeling, and all the aggression about everyday frustrations and kicking their butt!  YESSSSS!!!!  My legs already feel as if they are filled with concrete, but that is beside the point!  I think that this may be my new stress go to work out!

Last night, I was late to swim so I had a tiny BLAH workout.  Hence the reason I have nothing to tell you about!  It was a neat night, though.  Denise (AKA Swim Nazi) got in and worked out with us!  Now I hate her even more because she has a bangin' body, she sweet as anything, AND she swims more graceful than a ballerina!  UGH!  (If you are keeping up, I love her to death, but want to hate her so badly!)

I enjoyed the workout I did.  I wish I could have finished it.  DARN THE TIME CONSTRAINTS!  I was able to complete all but 300 yards of the workout, which means I did 2100 yards.  "Wow!  that's still great, Terri," you say.  However, I have become accustomed to doing a hard 2500-3000 in one evening.  I was extremely disappointed.  AND today I didn't feel sore at all.  Time to step things up a notch!

Two great days of workouts, great ATTEMPTS at sticking to my diet (I do well until about 4:00, and then I want SUGAR!!!!!), and my attitude and heart are STILL in it.  Looking at a great week and hoping for some number droppage!  WOOP!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tonight I almost cried in front of my coach.  I could totally hear Tom hanks saying, "Are you CRYING!?  There's no crying in swimming!"  But tonight there would have been.  Luckily I held it together!  WHEW!

Why cry? you ask....  Well, I am having trouble pushing myself to the limit.  I can't seem to break that barrier to force my body to do something I know it CAN do!  I know my form is off, I know my stroke looks sloppy, and to top it all off, I AM SLOW!  I know that I shouldn't let this bother me, but I want to do swim meets so badly!  I want to RACE!  I would get my butt handed to me in a race today. 

So I was making such great progress, then the past week and a half my body has just REFUSED to cooperate!  Well, I finally figured out the problem tonight!  I'll put it this way:  I've come to the end of my sentence!  "Nough said!

So, then I also have pulled my groin muscle.  I'm not normally a baby about these things.  I'm actually very good at sucking it up, but I WANTED to die after practice!  I mean I was in such horrible pain!  Couldn't walk, barely was able to get in the truck!  It was NOT pretty!  After icing it up tonight, I'm FINALLY hitting the hay!  And not a moment too soon!  It's already tomorrow! 

Here's to a weekend of rest and hoping to heal so I can kill it again!  Monday is going to be good if my leg will cooperate!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

All I do is win....

OK, well relatively speaking anyway!  When I don't give up, I win!  When I give it my all, I win!  When it hurts, and I keep going, I win!  When I really don't want to, but I do it anyway....I WIN! 

Today I was DETERMINED to not get in my own way!  I ate much better.  I drank more water.  I got some housework accomplished.  And I had a killer swim practice.  I say killer because I thought it really would kill me! 

We did 2200 yds tonight.  Pyramids!  I thought I would love this, except that I am frequently reminded of how over weight and out of shape I am!  I am so much slower than my other team mates!  I'm like that fat kid, whose mom signed them up just so they could get them to do SOMETHING active! 

I have pretty much gotten over the fact that I am no swimsuit model, and will probably never be.  I have gotten over the fact that I am pretty much the oldest person who practices at the time we do.  I have also pretty much gotten over the walk of shame.  I mean, I do it so often now, I just ignore the people on deck! 

The one thing I can NOT get over is that I am so stinkin' slow!  I mean, anyone who knows me knows that I am VERY competitive!  I DO NOT lose.  It's not that I don't like to lose.  I DON'T lose!  Board games, card games, etc.  I don't accept defeat graciously!  (Just ask my poor hubby!)  I hate that I am always the slowest one out there!  I sometimes push myself too hard and forget to pace myself, because I don't like losing!  Though, we really aren't racing!

So tonight, I am singing my song...."All I do is win win win, no matter what!"  If I don't give up and keep going when it's tough, then I really am a winner.  At least in the self satisfying way, anyway.  Besides, I DON'T lose!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Skeletons in the closet...

I usually don't share certain parts of my life, because I find it places a label upon my head.  However, God put it on my heart to blog  a little about one of those things tonight.  I feel as if I should be sitting in a room of people and stand up and say, "Hi, my name is Terri, and I suffer from severe depressive disorder."  "Hi Terri."  "Hi group!"

This is a true story, though.  I have suffered from depression for as long as I can remember.  I understand most people suffer from self loathing in one way or another.  Especially women as we have a certain standard of beauty placed upon us.  Mine goes much deeper than that. 

I was 15 years old and going to my brother-in-law's youth group.  I had made my dad angry over something, and instead of the general teenage response, it is ALL MY PARENTS' FAULT!  I took the blame, and I also took a safety pin and scratched the word STUPID into my calf.  I wanted to always remember how stupid I was.  This was sure to remind me, and also my first time to cut. 

It became glaringly clear after that how cutting myself became a way to make mental anguish physically tangible.  I continued to do this off and on for many years, until I was 28 years old in fact.  I have to stop here and make it clear, I do not share this to get an "OH MY!  How awful for you!" or any response at all.  However, this story does have a point! 

You see, even my husband was unaware of how serious my depression and cutting were, until one day I nearly killed myself.  My son, who was 2 at the time, walked into the room right as I was about to slit my wrist.  Now, MOST people think that slitting your wrist is a stupid way to commit suicide, and most people only do that to get attention.  For me, it was the most comfortable way I felt in hurting myself. 

Praise God for that wonderful kid!  He saved my life, and he continues to do so day after day.  As the years have passed, I have learned more about what I call my disease.  I truly believe depression is a disease too often over looked!  It eats away at a person, until there is an empty shell left. 

An adult with insight into this awful condition, I try to watch myself for signs of melt downs.  I watch for ways my life shows that I am heading into a valley.  Extreme sleepiness, muscle aches, impatience, headaches, etc.  For me, depression becomes a very physical thing.  Today I hit a rock bottom.

I woke up hurting so bad I couldn't even breath.  My head was pounding, and all I could think was, "If I could just sleep, I would feel 100% better."  The more I slept, the worse I felt.  I ended up lying on the couch for hours!!!  No shower, finally brushed my teeth around 5:00 pm.  (I know it's gross, but when your body is so weary....) 

Today my disease beat me.  It won the battle, and I ended up wasting an entire day on my couch with my eyes closed blocking out the world.  I feel extreme guilt tonight because I missed playing with my sweet son.  I didn't eat healthy and definitely didn't exercise.  Where does this leave me? 

With a choice.  What do I do with this?  I pick myself up tomorrow and dust off the guilt and pain.  I move and exercise and LIVE.  I learn from what happened and push on.  I don't know why God put it on my heart to write this out.  Maybe so I can see the words for myself.  Maybe so someone can read them and learn?  Maybe because I need you to know how very much your encouraging words mean to me. 

At any rate, tomorrow is another day!