Starting the Training

I went away to a place with an open pool to begin my swim training. I’m glad I did it in a no pressure place.

Day one, my swim watch decided that it was out of batteries. Part of that, maybe, was that the pool water was at 90 degrees. The maintenance guy told me that he turned it down, but it hadn’t cooled off yet.

Day two, several children needed to be in the same place that I was, and their parents decided to put all of their setup within two feet of mine, so I left.

Day three, I pulled my earplugs out of my ear to hear what someone was saying. The plug part stayed in the ear. We almost went to the emergency room, but I got it out before the tweezers arrived.

I learned that I need a bone conducting mp3 player so that I can use real earplugs. I also learned that my swim watch was lying to me since it worked fine once we got home. Also, I need to go to a pool with lanes and no kids in the way. Thankfully, my gym’s pool has recently opened. Now, to fit it into my schedule!

Training and the Emergency Department

Earlier this week, I went to the pool after work. The new Covid-friendly rules state that there can only be one person in each lane. That means that since there are 3 lanes, there can only be 3 people in the pool. This is a difficult concept for some, I guess.

I got to the pool just as two young girls slid into their lanes. The third lane was occupied by an older gentleman who was actively doing laps. The girls were in the pool to cool off. They were playing, and splashing. Sitting on the stairs. One even managed to wear her paper mask into the pool, tucked into her swimsuit. The girls spent time playing catch with it. I waited patiently. In times past, I would have asked the girls to move to one lane so they could socialize together, but I understand that the rules are in place for a reason.

I stood at the end of the pool waiting. I was wearing my swimsuit, my swim cap, my goggles, my triathlon watch and my waterproof mp3 player, which doubles as earplugs. My towel and flip flops were waiting nearby, with my phone. After about 15 minutes of waiting, the gentleman got out of the pool, so I took his lane. One of the girls asked nicely if I would switch lanes with her so she could be next to her friend. I had to pull my earplugs out to hear what she was saying. I didn’t mind moving, so I shoved the earplugs back in as I ducked under the rope to get into the next lane. This is when all hell broke loose. The earplug portion of the headphones fell off the mp3 player and got lodged in my ear. I tried unsuccessfully to dislodge it. I decided to try a few laps since it didn’t really hurt.

I had just finished the round trip of laps 1 and 2 when I heard yelling. A “gentleman” was yelling at the two girls, telling them to share a lane. The girls very nicely told him that it was one per lane. The man’s wife showed up and he explained that the girls were refusing to move and he started yelling. The girls referred him to the staff at the desk. The staff came in and counted for the man. “Three lanes, three people. That’s the rule. These people were first. You can wait.” The man started yelling about his rights since he pays for gym access. The staff members referred him to the manager and explained that it was out of their hands, since it was mandated by the orange tier of the county. The man left. The wife had left when her husband started yelling about his rights.

So, after the show, I continued my laps. At the end of laps 3 and 4, another man came in, so I paused to try to take the earplug out of my ear again, hoping for another show. The two girls explained that it was 1 person per lane. The man said that he’d wait. What a reasonable answer! Another man, who the first man seemed to know came in and the first man explained 1 per lane. Ok. No problem. He’d wait, too. Man number three came in, greeted the first two men, and said that there was too long a line, so he’d see them tomorrow. Again, another reasonable answer.

I continued my swim until the pressure in my ear became unbearable, and I realized that I would have to get out, shower and dress before I could do anything about the stuck earplug. So I announced to the first man that I was getting out. He was appreciative of the heads up so he could get into position to get into the pool.

I showered and dressed and got to my car. I attempted to take the earplug out with the tweezers in my car. No luck. I was near work, so I briefly thought about asking the nurse at work to help me, because she doesn’t gross out easily, but I realized that the tweezers I had were too sharp. Option 2 was to go home and have my daughter to do it, but again, the tweezers were an issue. I went for option 3, which was to head back to work and hit the emergency room. I walked in as a woman was being brought in. The security guard recognized me as an employee and asked if I had my Covid screening when I worked that morning. Yes, I had. He sent me to register.

I was asked to take a seat. I pulled out my Kindle to read while I waited. The battery had died. Wonderful. Thankfully, I only had to wait about 2 minutes to register. Then I was sent back to the waiting room for another full minute. The triage nurse asked me if I thought that I had something in my ear. No. I know that I have something in my ear. She sent me to a chair next to the triage room. I waited another full minute before the physician’s assistant arrived. He took one look in my ear and announced “Oh! Good! The pool opened!” He left to get tweezers and came back to take 5 seconds to remove the earplug. He asked me to wait for the discharge nurse.

About 5 minutes later, the billing person came in to get my credit card and to tell me that I would be seen soon. I told her that I had already been seen, but was waiting to be sent home. She very kindly told me that once the nurse came in, I didn’t have to wait for the billing person again. I could go. Well, thanks for that.

The nurse came in and told me that she was sorry but legally she had to give me the paperwork telling me that I couldn’t drug seek in the emergency department and that I needed the paperwork to tell me not to put things in my ears or in my nose, but she understood what happened. Ok. All set.

I needed an adventure after all that time hanging out at home, but I really prefer adventures without emergency departments. I’m waiting to see what the next adventure will be.

Well, I Did It!

As many of you know, I struggle with the gym part of bookworm at the gym. I used to sign up for races and events all the time to keep myself motivated. All of the events were canceled with the pandemic, or postponed, or became virtual events. Motivation flew out the window. With the gym and pool closures, it became even more difficult to inspire motivation.

I have two friends who regularly do events with me. One does running and the other does swimming. They keep me moving. Sometimes literally. In the last few weeks, we’ve discussed going back to doing events. This week, we pushed each other. I am signed up for a 10k a year from now. I am signed up for a 1.5 mile open water swim in September. I have goals again!

The swim is a fundraiser, and I’ve posted my fundraising page below, if anyone is interested in sponsoring my swim. I have already made the minimum amount required to swim, so anything after this is just pushing me into wave maker status.

Wish me luck! Help keep me motivated.

Fundraising Page

Unicorn and Mermaid Waffles

Unicorn and mermaid waffles

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According to the above linked article, these beauties actually exist. The description in the article tells about adding some sweet to your morning. Cotton candy or blue raspberry? That does not sound delicious. It does sound very sweet, especially with the suggested addition of whipped cream.

If I was required to add color to my breakfast, I think I’d rather choose green eggs and ham. Maybe I’m being too critical because I’m not big on sweet breakfasts? Still, I don’t think this one will be a big seller.

Stolen box

Every month, our dogs get a bark box. The box is small and usually fairly light. We allow Molly to retrieve it and open it herself.

I ordered a new swimsuit. I was headed out for a short time, so I just kicked it inside our entry way and went on my way.

When I came home, Molly was in the entry way, waiting for me. My daughters let her out and she said hi to me as I came up the walkway. We went inside and shut the gate.

Suddenly, Molly saw the box. She grabbed it and ran upstairs with it. The kids caught her and sent her back downstairs. I managed to get the box from her, but she was still interested in the box. I opened it and got the innards out. She tried to take the swimsuit. I managed to keep the suit and I gave her the empty box. She was still excited and ran back up stairs with it. She had her fun with the box and then it got recycled.

About an hour later, her bark box was delivered. I guess she knew it was about time for her package to come. I guess we need to teach her to read the labels before she assumes it’s for her.

Have you taken swim lessons?

I managed to find an outdoor pool that is open. I have been working on my lap swimming after a long time away from the pool. Unfortunately, the pool is a public pool and one has to make reservations in order to use it at a certain time, and there is a limit to the number of people allowed in the area at one time.

I went one afternoon to find a family of four in the pool area. Two children in the pool and one parent on either side of the pool, supervising. I settled in a safe distance from all of them. I figured that if I was patient, I may be able to get my laps in.

Suddenly, one of the children announced that she was hungry. Yay! My opportunity! I hopped in and did my laps while the children were eating.

As I got out, the children’s mother asked me if I had taken swimming lessons. I said yes, of course. She told the children that she knew that would be my answer. I looked at her, puzzled. She said that she’s been trying to convince the children that there was a good reason to take lessons, and they were impressed by the evenness of my stroke and that I could go back and forth so easily. I was being used as an example.

As I was putting my swim stuff away, the woman said, “Oh! I should have known that you knew what you were doing. Anyone who has a case for her goggles must be serious about swimming.” I guess so. I use the case to keep my goggles from getting scratches. They are much easier to see through without scratches.

She also commented on my swim watch and earplugs. Well, if I am doing laps, they help. I didn’t use my swimcap this time, though. I guess I am looking for that green chlorinated look?

I am just happy to be back in the pool. I use hand sanitizer after using the rails to get out of the pool. Everyone uses those to get out.

Let’s Talk About Swimming

Let’s talk about swimming

I am so disappointed that pools aren’t open yet. I was so thrilled when my gym opened, but then I found out that the pool wouldn’t be open for a long time, still. Here’s a little pep talk from some swimmers and unfortunately, their pool is a little too far away for me to swim in regularly. I can’t wait to get back in the pool.

I swam with Susan Helmrich for Swim Across America a few times. I was so excited to see that she was speaking with the author of a book about swimming, Why We Swim, Bonnie Tsui. I look forward to getting a hold of the book.

What I forgot to pack

I went away for a weekend with the family. I live with them, so it’s not a big deal with the shelter in place orders. The place where we are has a pool, with strict rules of use. I go in and do my laps and get out. No dawdling. Wash down everything that was used.

Normally, I would sit down and read a book poolside. This trip, nope. Other than the rules not really allowing it without wearing a mask, I forgot my book!

I forgot my book! How could I do that? I do have my Kindle, but I don’t really want it out by the pool. I also have my textbook for my class, which is technically what I am supposed to be reading. It is rented though, so that doesn’t go out near water, either.

I am headed home to get back to work for a training for a couple of days. I’ll come back up after repacking. Hopefully this time I’ll remember the paper book. I am sure I’ll forget something else, though.

Alcatraz Escape

Alcatraz escape

The above linked article from 2014 tells about the Alcatraz escape on June 11, 1962. We’ve heard about this escape over the years, where three men made a rubber raft of raincoats and attempted to paddle out of the San Francisco Bay.

They tell about the tests that were attempted by Mythbusters back in 2003. The video is interesting to watch. Depending on the time they left, they may have made it. Some evidence shows that they did.

Here’s the Wikipedia article on the escape: The Escape. There is a lot of information there.

Part of why they think that the men didn’t make it to shore had to do with being in the water for a long length of time. So many people do a similar swim annually, that I think that it was possible. The speed that they’d have to go would be not an unreasonable speed in a boat. I think there’s a good chance they made it. One day we might know?

Opening pools in California

Opening pools in California petition

I love swimming. The majority of my exercise came from swimming. Then I had foot issues and surgery. Then I got really sick in January. I was ready to get back into the pool when everything was suddenly shut down.

It looks as if the gyms in my area won’t be opening any time soon because they can’t open safely. The local pools can because of the way the virus is dissipated in the water. Plus chlorine levels kill it off.

Swimmers are generally bright people and we do understand that locker rooms are difficult to control. The discussion has been about swimming your laps, washing hands, throwing on a cover up, and going home to change. Not unreasonable.

There’s a petition going around asking for the pools to open, so we can get some exercise. I’ve attached it above.