Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pool Therapy

No worries. The pity party is over - cured by swim practice last night and by little Ladybug deciding that she wanted to get up at 5:45 am today. I have to say that I probably do carry what I said yesterday with me everyday, but most days it is just underlying the surface and is not nearly as intense as it was yesterday. I'm a constant work in progress trying to change the way I think about those things and every once in awhile they just reach out and grab me.

But, triathlon training really does tend to be therapy - as does the Team in Training mission. We had swim practice last night and it reminded me, looking at my fellow teammates, why we do this. We have 4 people that I know of who are cancer survivors, 1 whose child is a Leukemia survivor, and 3 of us who have lost loved ones to cancer. Being a part of Team in Training makes me feel like I am making a difference in the lives of others by raising cancer awareness and raising money for cancer research and patient services.The swim itself last night also helped clear the cobwebs and drama from my brain. We did 1800 total (which is around 1.175 miles) and Coach B put us in the pool and told us to do our sets at our own pace. The sound and the movement of the swim are therapeutic. I forgave myself for my freak out in the lake, realized that I am making a difference with Team in Training, and re-confirmed that I have a right to be happy and that while making some sacrifices are part of being a wife and mother I do not have to give up everything. I deserve happiness as much as every member of my family and so the triathlons and the training will continue. I will do my best to be there for my children and my husband as much as possible, but I do need things for myself too.

It's amazing that these things come out of my swims, but they do. I'm not even sure how they do. I concentrate on my stroke and my continuous breathing and counting laps and thoughts just run through my head - sometimes I only catch the snippets of my thoughts... it's like my unconcious mind is working behind all the breathing, arm strokes, leg kicks, touching the wall, counting, and set building until it reveals to me the secrets it has unlocked while I move through the water. I was done with the 1800 before I realized it, and well before everyone else on the team. I even hung out in the water for about 5 minutes after I was done, secretly hoping Coach B would give me more to do but he insisted we were done for the day. I was dressed before anyone else even got out of the pool. Now, if I could only be that fast on the bike! : ) My new goal is to conquer the bike and get fast on it.
As a Mom, there is a natural tendency to put your children before yourself, especially when they are young. You want everything to be the best for them, you want them to be healthy and happy, and you want to spend all the time you can with them. When you work on top of being a Mom you don't get to be with them as much as you want, and even sometimes envy stay at home Moms who get to be with their children all the time. As one stay at home mom said to me , she felt sorry for me because I was going to miss out on so much with my children. But, what she didn't understand is that my going to work is another sacrifice I make for my children. I don't do it because I don't want to be with them or am keeping something for myself. Instead of putting our family in financial hardship, I work to ensure that we can save for college, afford to live in a neighborhood with good schools, allow them to participate in activities, and afford to have experiences for them that would be impossible if I did not work. If I could stay home with my children and have all those things, I would. But my life is not set up that way and I can only do the best I can. Those that can do those things and stay at home too are truly blessed.

Perhaps that is really what this journey of life is all about. Finding your way to make the best of what you have in life and continuously searching (and hopefully finding) how to not only make your life a happy one but also how to help improve the lives of others. All of this from 1800 meters in the pool on a warm March evening and Ladybug waking everyone up at 5:45 am because she wasn't tired and wanted to spend some time with her Mommy and Daddy. Pool therapy and child induced sleep shortages - a combo for self-realization!

Oh, and whoever bet that both girls would return home in their original clothes is the winner of yesterday's potty training bet. : ) No accidents! Yay! Let's see if we can go for a second day... double or nothing? Ladybug insisted on wearing a dress and Angelfish is wearing a cute little stretch pants and long top number that her Grammy gave her. The motivation I used yesterday and today is that if they keep their underpants dry their cute little outfit and their pretty underpants stay dry, which means they get to wear them all day instead of wearing their extra clothes. We'll see if it works!

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