Friday, January 11, 2008


I have been trying hard to decide whether or not to bother with resolutions this year. Last year's swimming goals were pretty quickly dashed by my stupid shoulder, and I am not sure I want to tempt the Kindly Ones into giving me some new injury. But why resist the draw of the calendar? Admittedly, Dear Reader, this post is about navel-gazing and record-keeping, so it may be one to skip.

So first, assessment of last year's goals.

General resolutions:
1. Swim 150 yards or more of butterfly in every swim practice. Well, this went down the tubes when the shoulder did. I see that I was doing a decent job about it until then.
2. Find non-computer-related break activities and use them to replace aimless internet searching, doing several days worth of Washington Post sudoku at a time, etc. See? This is one of those embarrassing resolutions, because I was just thinking recently about how I needed to work on this, not even remembering
3. Turn off internet and e-mail while working. I have been much better about this, if only because I have finally come to believe that e-mail mostly brings annoying requests from bosses and colleagues and students. I now also have a sticky on my monitor that reads "NO RAVELRY DURING WORKTIME." So far, yes. We'll see how it lasts.
4. Eat one salad, one large piece of fruit, and one other vegetable per day. Um, hi. I totally forgot this resolution existed. I think, though, that I have usually succeeded on two out of three.
5. Exercise 4-5 days per week instead of 3-5. Did well with this until about October, when I got so damn depressed about the shoulder that I could no longer face the pool or anything else.
6. Do shoulder exercises every other day and also stretch on those days. Shoulder exercises: yes, for the good it did. Stretching? Well, again: this is one I was going to put down for this year.
7. Ice sore shoulder after swim practice. Check.

Then I had a bunch of swimming goals:
1. Swim 200 back in competition.
2. Swim 200 fly in competition.
3. Swim 1000 SCY free in competition.
4. Swim 400 IM strong in competition.
5. Beat previous best time in 100 SCY back (1:23.67) and SCM (1:33.45) in competition.
6. Beat previous best time in 100 SCY fly (1:16.73) in competition.
7. In one week during the summer, swim every practice that my masters team offers.

I doubt I need to say much about these, since I swam in exactly one meet (SCY), where I did not beat my best 100 BA time, and scratched the 1000 FR and 200 BA because I was having shoulder problems.

One thing that is worthwhile (read: a little painful) about this assessment process is the reminder of my great optimism c. January 2007. It reminds me of how I was thinking about swimming before my hubris got nipped. And while my Older and Wiser part is inclined to laugh derisively at that year-ago me, I do not think that is the right answer: instead, it gives me something to shoot for, a place to get back to, though the getting there will take time. And patience--a commodity in short suppy in these parts.

So, 2008, the year in which I set some easy goals and some harder ones.

1. Begin getting back in shape. This means making exercise a serious part of my life again. It means that rather than focusing on how much I am not presently an athlete, I remember that I want to be one again, and that that takes work, and then doing the work. For now, in a concrete way, this means coming back to the pool a couple of days a week (and working to keep my perspective while I am there), getting back in the gym for some other kinds of cardio work (presently, the recumbent bike, because it does not strain the shoulder), and remembering that junk in = junk out. Later (after, say, my March 12 doctor's appointment), this will mean beginning to swim again, and then gradually, beginning to train again, and perhaps eventually, beginning to compete again. But for this year, I probably have to phrase these things as beginning. Really, beginning again.

2. Keep working at nipping the solitaire addiction. Really, I mean this in terms of my general tendency to spend too much time on the internets. I am not really sure how I am going to approach this (and please refrain from commenting about how this post may not be helping. Thanks.)

3. Stretch. Oh yeah, and try not to forget about this one.

4. Learn to knit complicated cables. Then make something with such a pattern. Start simple: make a cap. If all goes well, I'll achieve this one this month, since I am already started on such a project.

5. Learn to turn the heel of a sock. There is even a sock on the needles, eagerly awaiting its new heel.

6. Remember how far I have come. My new Life Coach mentioned this in the context of returning to sports, but I could stand to learn it more generally, rather than constantly focusing on how I do not measure up. Yee haw.

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