By Mo Breden
I will be 60 years old this year. Last night I completed the 2014 United States Master Swim (USMS) One Hour Postal Championship. What does this mean, you say? It means I got in the pool and started swimming and did not stop for one full hour. It’s all very official; you have a split recorder or lap counter (thank you so much Shannon and Michelle, who have both been recorders for me). You have a split sheet where your recorder sits by the pool and using a stop watch records the time you do your flip turns and records the official distance you swam in the hour. You then file your results with USMS on line and they rank you nationally, with swimmers in your age group. I won’t know how I rank till the competition closes and they calculate all the results.
I won’t lie to you. The distance I swam was important to me. I wanted to see if I could qualify for a swim, which has some of the most rigorous qualification standards of any swim. I accomplished that. The most important thing regarding this swim is simply that I did it! I wanted to do it, I wanted to do it, and then right before I left the house, I didn’t want to do it, oh, I didn’t want to do it. I got butterflies, and started to feel sick. I had a few words with myself and proceeded to the YMCA pool. I told my recorder that I was feeling so much pressure and I was. It was self induced, and maybe, just maybe it was the old Mo, who sat on the couch on a Wednesday night and watched TV and snacked all night long, who was rebelling most of all. After all, old Mo’s life is over and she wants it back. Fortunately, new Mo is stronger and loves swimming like she has never loved any form of physical activity.
Please understand, this is not self -grandiosity, I write Life with Mo, to share funny moments, dramatic moments, simple moments for one reason, and one reason only; to make YOU, my reader, feel something, stir something, and motivate something in YOU to make your own life better. Life with Mo is all about living a better life, whether it is spiritually, physically or emotionally regardless of race, sex, and age.
When I had my physical in June, I complained to my Doc about my knees hurting now and again. His answer was, “cross train, get a bike”. Yesterday I went and picked up the bicycle I ordered BEFORE the plumbing disaster. They held it for me for two months and I had to go pick it up and pay the balance. I went with my hair flying in the wind only to discover that I had to learn how to take off the front tire and put it back on and how to disengage the braking system and reengage it. Needless to say, I was standing in the parking lot of the bike store sweating in the sun. Then with helmet on, I got on the bike (a hybrid mountain bike with hand brakes, oh yea, never rode one before) in the parking lot and proceed to wiggle my way around the parking lot and when it came to stopping, well, I stopped all right, by falling off the bike! A few bruises, nothing serious, I still have significant padding. I call this my fitness horror story of the week. I am determined to ride that bike, so I know I will because I was determined to learn to swim Master Swimming, and I did. One accomplishment enhances the next and the next and the next.
I always want to acknowledge that my physical accomplishments are mine, but I could not have achieved them without the support of my family, my friends, my lane mates and my coach. Surround yourself with people who have similar goals and you will be amazed. My lane mates inspire me, they push me, and we laugh and have the best of times together. My coach, who can be gruff and harsh at times, is the lunatic who runs, up and down the pool deck while I’m swimming, giving me signals to swim faster, to snap my flip turns and to go, go, go! When I got done with my swim last night, he said 3 words to me. “YOU DID GOOD”. From my coach, that’s equivalent to the sky opening up and a ray of sunshine engulfing me.
Go out there and grab your ray of sunshine, you deserve it!
Thanks for stopping by to read my post; I hope to see ya’s next week, for Life with Mo.