In late January, as many regular blog readers know, I was finally given clearance to start swimming again. My first swim was on January 27. Other than noticing that I filled out my bathing suit a bit more, the swim workout itself didn’t feel very different from the last time I swam last October. I took it slow and only did about 60 laps (editor Leland: Only 60 laps?!). After that swim, I finally felt like the recovery was now complete. Indoor cycling at 2 weeks, running at 4 weeks, and now swimming at 12 weeks. Let the training begin!
However, this post is only partially inspired by my return to the chlorinated basin I call home. I recently received an email from my Aunt Harriet that began with the following sentence. “Is anyone asking you how you feel these days, or are you yesterday’s news?” Now, a few things you should know about Harriet. First off, she lives in Israel and I don’t see her very often. Second, she has dealt with similar issues with the BRCA-1 and it’s been an ongoing discussion. Third, I have a huge family, so in 2012, we now have 2 weddings (both announced this year) and a bar mitzvah. So, as you can imagine with a family this large, it’s hard to stay the “lead story” for too long.
I smiled after I read her email and thought that being “yesterday’s news” is a welcome place to be.
Over this past week, I traveled to Cleveland to visit with family and friends. While I am a competent, confident person in most areas of my life, traveling solo is just not my thing. Maybe because I’ve relied on Leland for the past 15 years to plan, coordinate and execute all of our traveling plans, I’ve rendered myself helpless, specifically in the world of air travel.
Leland plans the trips, rents the cars, and figures out where we are going, where are staying, and always where we are eating! For this trip, I was truly on my own. I found myself lifting my own heavy carry-on luggage (thank you pec muscles that I can finally use!), dealing with the rental agency (4th on Dante’s 7 circles of hell) as well as sprinting through the airport to make a connection.
Surprisingly and happily, I did not feel any negative physical effects. I was truly amazed with how my quality of life is the same and in some ways, even better! Not having to worry anymore about what “might happen” makes a big difference as I navigate and thrive through each day. My worries were more mundane. “Will I make it to the airport, during a snowstorm, in a car no bigger than a breadbox that might get blown away any second?” “Will my flight be canceled or delayed due to the storm?” “Do my kids even know that I’m gone?”
Fast forward to yesterday (Sunday). Thirteen hours after landing in Hartford, I drove to Saint Joseph College to meet my business partner Janice so we could begin to organize the 6th annual Saint Joseph College Indoor Triathlon. For six years we’ve been running this very successful event for over 100 women. We’ve always been so busy organizing the event that it never occurred to us that we should actually participate.
So, this year I decided that if there were an open slot, I would do the whole event. At 12:20 pm on February 12, I jumped into the pool to swim 20 minutes (42 laps), then hopped on the bike to “spin” for 20 minutes (distance was a tad over 6 miles) then I ran around the indoor track for 20 minutes (2.5 miles which works out to 8-minute miles).
When I finished, I paused and reflected on what I had just accomplished. The total time with transitions was just under the time in which I would complete a sprint distance triathlon. But, more importantly, I had completed a triathlon, albeit an indoor one, a goal I’d set for myself after the surgery.
I felt a great sense of satisfaction and relief that three months after my surgery I was able to contemplate and complete this event without that pause of “is it safe?” That peace of mind, the happy ignorance, is really the most treasured accomplishment.
To me this wasn’t yesterday’s news, it was the lead story on the Tapper Times.