Wednesday, August 31, 2011

50 Before 50 - Update 08/31/11

1. Get a Passport

2. Gallop a horse along a beach

3. Become a runner – Run a 5K to prove it.

4. Learn to be a friendly neighbor(I have a long way to neighbor's garage door went up...I was painting in the driveway and I didn't even look up.  I'm so ashamed!  Why am I SO unfriendly?!?  Still a work in progress.)

5. See the Northern Lights

6. Learn to rock a hula hoop

7. Cloister alone for a weekend – speak to no human

8. Go fishing for the first time(by this time next week...I'm hoping to be able to say...that I have caught my first fish.  More later!)

9. Find a Sushi I like

10. Lose 30 pounds(-6)

11. Visit Mt. Rainier

12. Pay for the meal of the person behind me in the drivethrough

13. Make Pottery on a wheel

14. Kiss at the top of the Empire State Building

15. Take Guitar lessons – Play a song for someone to prove it.

16. Get a Brazillian Wax

17. Surprise a friend   (08/29/11 - Surprised my friend Peggy on her 49th birthday.  21 of us gathered at our local Taco Time to show Peggy how loved she is.  Happy Birthday my dear friend!  I love you!)

18. Surprise myself

19. Have a drink at Starbucks on the 40th floor of the Columbia tower (2nd highest Starbucks in the world)

20. Buy a Serger and learn how to use it.

21. Find a red wine I enjoy

22. Sky dive

23. Ride in a helicopter

24. Volunteer at Children’s Hospital

25. Take a swim class – learn Swimmer’s breathing & End of lane Flip   (I took 2 swim classes July - Aug 2011.  I can now successfully do the crawl stroke with breathing, and flip at the end of the for the video coming soon.)

26. Ride a zip line – in an exotic place

27. Read the Bible straight through in a weekend.

28. Go river rafting

29. Hike by moon light

30. Wear a real flower lei in Hawaii

31. Take a class about the Stock Market

32. Remove my Age spot

33. Ride a Jet ski

34. Snorkel off a tropical island

35. Take Piano lessons

36. Get a tattoo

37. Take an art class

38. Learn to surf

39. Master Crocheting

40. Dance like no one is watching

41. Learn to eat proficiently with chopsticks

42. Go Vegetarian for a month

43. Build a dining room table (and chairs?)

44. See an Opera

45. Take a Spanish Class

46. Knit something for myself with “expensive” yarn (I know what and to have the right timing.)

47. Skinny dip

48. Take a flower arranging class

49. Treat myself to a spa weekend

50. Ice Skate at Rockefeller Center

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Swim Lessons - Update

All my life I’ve been a nose plugger. Anytime I swam, or my face had to go into the water I plugged my nose. I hated the feeling of water up in my nose…and it limited what I could do in the water. At the beginning of my swim lessons 6 weeks ago, this was the first of many obstacles that I had to overcome. It took 4 lessons for me to beat the fear. And once I did, it only took me one week to put the breathing together with the crawl stroke. I felt strong! I kept telling myself I would get it…and I did.

Now as I swim down the lane, I find myself just going through the motions. I don’t have to think about the breathing, or the stroke…it just comes naturally.

A similar fear arose again when beginning to tackle the flip turn. As I began the somersault and was focusing on so many things at once I forgot to breathe appropriately and I took in water. Over and over this was the case. Determined to learn it, I kept trying again and again, and flip after flip the water would fill my sinuses.

The July class ended, and a new one began. A new teacher, and a new classmate. Isabel, my teacher, is 19. She is the sweetest, most encouraging young woman. She’s as excited to teach, as I am to learn. Julianne, my classmate, like my previous classmates, is a new swimmer who is training for a triathlon.

Last night I swam, down and back trying over and over to flip-turn, improving with each effort, telling myself “You will get it, keep trying. You can do it!” By the end I swam down the lane, went into the flip-turn, my legs came to my chest, as my feet found the wall, thrusting, my head tucked, my hands stretched taut in front of me, my feet kicking, I glided perfectly through the water. As I surfaced, smiling ear to ear, I gasped a full breath and stroked my way down the lane. Excited, I HAD DONE IT!!! I laughed all the way down the pool. As I approached the other end of the pool again I executed a near perfect flip-turn and swam out of it. I swam to about half way and rolled on my back. Out of breath I was exultant! Thrilled at my progress, tingling with accomplishment, I allowed myself to feel every feeling…I felt more alive than possibly ever before. THIS is exactly what I was hoping for…what I needed.

When I had regained my breath I rolled back over and swam to the other end of the pool. Isabel exclaimed what great flip-turns I had done, and how she KNEW I could do it! My fists thrust into the air and I slapped the water. It was an absolute thrill! As we spoke Julianne came over and my breath still catches as I think about what she said… “You guys make it look so easy, your stroke is so graceful!” I beamed…could she possibly be talking about me? What I realized last night is that I’m a swimmer…a REAL swimmer. I still have a ways to go to be able to check it off my list, but I’m almost there…and can I just say….WHOOO HOOO!!! YEAH BABY! J.