Diving into Something New:)
So my fBnL (favorite Brother-in-Law) is a really good swimmer. He has always been a good swimmer and was on the swim-team in High School, and even scouted out for the Olympics. So a couple years ago with swimming well in his past, he started running. I was a runner so I would give him pointers or encouragement as we raced the Derby races the last year that I ran. I believe it was 2012, I was training for a full-marathon, had joined a running group to train, hung all my race numbers up in my office, and was totally into the thrill and pain of it all.
Then my MS hit, and I physically couldn’t run anymore. I tried and tried, went to PT, and was determined I would run again. However my right-side didn’t agree and it still doesn't. I would try and drag my right foot along and have to hold my right arm into my chest so that it wouldn’t shake and draw attention to how fucked up I looked. When I tripped and fell because of my right-sided weakness I decided I was being stupid, and could be creating more dangerous scenarios than it was worth.
It has taken me years to move on and deal with my life in different ways. I needed to stop doing many other things as well like: playing music (guitar/piano)
conducting my choirs, teaching classes as my speech/writing were affected, and I was just totally exhausted. I had to say goodbye to these lifelong loves because of the physical and emotional pain they caused. Some people say I'll go back to music, I'll find another way, but I don't know.....
Also, that statement just pisses me off, like they aren't empathizing and just repeating stories that they have heard about people overcoming tremendous odds to play music, paint, write again, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, yada, yada, yada....eye-roll here!
So I started working at a local wine shop, basically to have that to fall back on when my teaching job was no longer. I didn't realize it would become a new love for me.
I then started to run private tastings, and moved onto a winery. Both of these jobs allowed me to fulfill my need to impart knowledge to willing learners.
Studying wine and its history around the world fulfilled my yearning for knowledge. I could conduct people as I waved and expressed myself talking about wines and the different ways they were created. So wine replaced some parts of my needs that music had fulfilled. And it's tasty too!
(People ask what's my favorite....I say that's a bullshit question....For me it depends on the day, how I'm feeling, the weather outside, the region, the vintage, who I'm sharing it with/or not!)
But what to replace running? So I started little by little doing yoga, then aqua yoga, and eventually I began to swim laps under the suggestion of my doctors. Swimming keeps your body temperature lower they pointed out, and I found out it was a great way to coordinate breathing, concentration, balance, and feel like I'm actually strengthening my muscles.
Now I’ve always been a decent swimmer, but not a lap swimmer.
We grew up with a camp on the lake, so we all swam, actually just played pretty much. We'd play for hours, even in high school. We would also do flips off the dock and get the boat out to waterski. Dropping one ski and slaloming outside the wake made you feel very cool!
So I started doing laps off and on, but didn't really get into it very much. Then my fBnL decided to join my gym so he could show me.
Rewind a little bit, So after I stopped running my fBnL kept going. He got faster, ran longer, and finished many marathons.
Then he started swimming again and joined the masters swim-team at UofL (University of Louisville-it's weird their mascot has been reworked to have teeth, what cardinal do you know of that has teeth?-Looks like an Angry Bird, before that actually was a thing!) He was recently chosen for the age group national champion olympic distance triathlon. Whew, I think I got that right!
Little be little he has given me more and more accoutrements, so my swim bag is full! I have flippers, paddles, several pairs of goggles, a snorkle, nose piece, ear plugs.....the pool has kickboards and pullboys so I'm good on that end:)
I'm starting to get obsessed with swimming like I did with running. I don't know if I want to compete though. I like the water because its a new skill I'm learning. I don't feel bad if I can't do something, because I couldn't do any of it before. I guess wine is like that to, because it's new, I don't feel like a failure it doesn't hurt me psychological like running or music still does.
So Diving into new territory, just makes me feel like I'm continuing to grow. Like the old saying goes, if you don't learn something new everyday, you might as well be dead? Ok, maybe that's not quite the saying, but you get the point!
Or as Luke Cage says....Always Forward, Never Backward