Waiting to Exhale
So, here’s something I’ve learned while strolling through the latest segment of my Journey:
“You must first unlearn everything you think you know. Only then will you learn everything you need to know.”
If you asked yourself “What Journey?” after the first sentence above, you can get all caught up on my rantings, ravings, whinings, musings and awakenings by clicking here.
Anyway, in my last post I talked about swimming and how difficult I thought it was; far more difficult than I had imagined.
When I speak to people who, like me, only remember swimming in their younger years, (back when swimming meant frolicking around in a backyard pool where there may have been a volleyball net, beach balls, floaties, cool tunes emanating from the fancy square white 8-track player (possibly, the rock and roll duo playing on said device was Kristy and Jimmy McNichol, but, really…who knows?), youngsters carrying other youngsters on their shoulders in a dangerously dangerous game of “Chicken” where the loser on the top of the loser on the bottom stands a very good chance of cracking their head open on the metal siding of the above-ground Doughboy), they simply look at me in dismay – only slightly prior to their laughter breaking out.
To them, I say “Hey! Knock it off!”
I don’t want to appear too violent, you understand.
I’ve actually stopped telling people outside of the Team about my swim issues. I’ve discovered they just don’t understand. And that is fine.
Inside the Team, I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact there’s little-to-no frolicking in the pool, lake or ocean during training. No floaties or music or games. Just drills and distance.
Oh…the distance. That nasty little culprit sneaks up on me every time!
During my last training session, when it was explained to me what was expected of my swimming self, I almost had to take a little ‘personal’ break. But, I held it together. I put my head down (almost didn’t even complain beforehand) and began. Luckily, underwater, no one can hear you curse!
The assignment was kind of a simulation of what we might experience during the race. We were required to do two loops around some buoys. Between the loops, we had to exit the water, run around a point on shore and then get back into the water to complete the course.
I surprised myself and, might I say, made myself quite proud when I finished the first loop. I ran (read: lumbered) towards the spot on shore – which happened to be one of the coaches – and was perfectly fine calling quits for the day. I mean, after all, LOOK what I had just accomplished!
Those same thoughts were not in the coaches head. Even through my fogged goggles, I could see the “Get back in that water.” face she was wearing. So I started back to the lake. I believe I stated out loud that I could not do another loop. I may have actually said that as I fell onto my back, surrendering to the water around me.
I needed to stop. It was too hard.
Someone waved their arms at me to summon me further out into the water in order to get started on the final loop.
“If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.”, she called out.
I couldn’t argue with that even if I had the energy to form words – which I did not.
So, I rolled over and put my head down and went arm over arm out into the open water. (Side Note: This is a HUGE thing for me. It didn’t even occur to me to respond with “Well then let THEM do it!”, as it would have in the past. So…there’s that.) I didn’t think about anything other than my breathing and my form. I concentrated on those two things in order to keep everything in check.
I didn’t do it pretty and I certainly didn’t do it fast, but I did it.
It was just another workout where the Team helped me get through the hours (minutes, really) of swimming with patience and support.
People are often curious about what led me to the Team and about the status of friends or family that have gone through some form of Cancer treatment. Surely, they think, I have a personal connection to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and its mission, for which Team in Training (TNT) is relentlessly raising funds.
The truth is, when I joined TNT, it wasn’t because of any life altering ‘event’ or because I knew of anyone personally or have had loved ones who have gone through any form of treatment for Cancer.
As I’ve stated in other posts from other TNT events and on this site, I joined for mainly selfish reasons. There. I’ve admitted it again. No matter how small it makes me seem.
I wanted to get proper training for riding a bicycle and I’d heard great things about Team in Training. So I gave it a shot.
It wasn’t long before the selfish reasons morphed into a bigger picture. With each passing week and as I learned more about the function behind the function of TNT, I came to understand the Team exists to conquer far more than the physical challenges we put ourselves through each day in order to cross the finish line in our respective events.
The money raised by TNT participants has enabled LLS to fund millions of dollars of research to help advance new treatments and cures for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, and provide critical education and support to cancer patients and their families.
Many participants on all of the Teams are themselves current or former Cancer patients.
These “honorees” continue to be living proof that what TNT and LLS have pulled together to form has been a great success.
There’s still time for you to be a part of the bigger picture!
Please consider making a donation by visiting my Team in Training site. Know that 78% of all donations will go to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and 100% of ALL donations are tax deductible.
One stroke…One pedal…One step…Closer to a Cure!