Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Back in the water


Today was the day.

I was more than a bit anxious when my sister dropped me off at the Y and said she'd see me in an hour. After all it's been almost 5 months since I was in the water and I wasn't even sure if my right shoulder could survive a 25.

To lower the bar I decided to wear board shorts and keep a pair of fins within reach.
Not surprisingly, neither of these were much help.
Board shorts???
I guess I was trying to channel my inner Carlos (from SMAC), but unfortunately 3 fingers on a reattached wrist did not give me much of a catch (If you want to get an idea of what my stoke felt like then try swimming a 1-arm fist drill).

I probably only swam 1,500 yds or so, but didn't grab the fins and the guards didn't throw me the ring so I'd call it a success.

At least it's a start...
and it gives me hope that I might be ready for the spring/summer open water season.

And finally, for those of you that thought I'd swim in circles...

video

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'm "Figuring it out"

Todays SF Chronicle had an article on the new Menlo College football coach, Mark Speckman, that was born with no hands.

He seemed like a pretty amazing guy so I watched his Youtube Video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOTjATe8nzM

He does a great job of explaining what's been going through my head every day since Sept 3rd.

(I do want to say that I've read that being born without hands/arms/etc is a VERY different experience than having lost them after childhood... so don't expect me to start playing the guitar or painting with my feet.)

Thanks to Randy for finding this guy.

Monday, January 9, 2012

It did happen

I talked my friend (and pro photographer) Bernadette into learning iMovie and to string together the clips from my Maui 2011 swim into a video. Watching swimming is rarely fun (especially when you don't label yourself a swimmer) and to top it off, my stroke has never been considered graceful so I am so grateful that she fought through this project and created this:
http://vimeo.com/34635389

Not surprisingly my favorite parts were Scot's comments.

Man, that swim was fun.

Thanks Bern.

And thanks again to my crew (Cpt. Killer, Pablo, Kai, Laurel, Nell, Scot, Jane) and of course my fellow soloist Mike.

Here's another perspective with a much stronger (and better looking) swimmer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0LHOHj-z04&feature=player_embedded
A note on this swimmer: Mike and I met Laura at the pre-race meeting and again on the beach at the start and it was obvious to me that she "gets it"....and that she was going to crush this swim.

Flying solo

This weekend I hopped a flight to visit the Caseys in Scottsdale, AZ.

Only a few months ago this wouldn't have been a big deal, but I am not a frequent flier and currently am far from independent. Luckily, I've been friends with Bill since college and have always enjoyed spending time with his wife and kids which gave me enough motivation to see if I could pull off a solo trip.

The travel part was pretty uneventful minus some fumbling of my ID/ticket and needing a bit more time to stow my luggage.
The low point: Having to ask the clerk to open my newly purchased packet of gum for me.
The highlight: I managed to put on my own seatbelt for the return trip (without causing too much of a scene).

The weekend was very full by my standards.
  • Lots of games of tag and hide-and-go-seek and a botched attempt to help Em learn to ride her bike without training wheels.
  • An early morning hockey practice for Patrick (I still think it was odd that the rink played Adele).
  • Watching Wil team up with a buddy on-line and take on the survival rounds of MW3.
  • Barely keeping my king alive in 2 games of chess with Madison.

This on top of games of mega monopoly (watch out for Patrick), bridge and spades.

I barely had time to pet Bently and Mudpie.

Every time I visit my friends with kids I realize that although I "could" be a parent, I think everyone is much better off that I'm only cheering from the sidelines.

I just hope I can keep getting invited to play.

I