December, 2013 browsing by month


How to get back in the water. In 15 easy steps.

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
  1. Set your alarm for yoga.  Instead sleep in.  Go get a turkey and cranberry sandwich at Lazy Loaf.  And a coffee.  Afterwards, get a cart’s worth of groceries.  Not a basket, a cart.  The cupboards have been bare for too long.
  2. Wash all your shorts and non-cotton shirts and towels.  Throw a pair of brand new, thicker black shorts recklessly and hope for the best.
  3. Go to yoga at 4:00 and plant the seed of intention.  I really still do want to swim today.   Well that wasn’t really the intention, but it all ties in somehow.  Wear the new, newly washed shorts and rejoice in the fact that your colours are not grey.
  4. Get out of yoga at 5:30.  Have a chicken sandwich.  Thank you cart full of groceries.
  5. Look up when the track and open swim availability at Talisman isn’t minimal.  Not until 8:00.  Read about all the closures today and the next few days.
  6. Spend the next two hours playing: maybe I should go… maybe I should wait until tomorrow.  Well I do have my swim suit.  But not my goggles.  I do have a Talisman Card.  But not the most recent one.  Where is the sky blue hoodie I’m wearing in this photo anyway?  I do have free Westin earphones.  But not my good ones.  Why can I NEVER find ear phones?  What do I do with them after flights?  They are never in my carry-on bag.  Or anywhere.  And there should be 50 pairs somewhere.
  7. Drive to Talisman.  Find a lock in your car.  Try the combination to no avail.  Be glad you thought to bring two loonies.
  8. Tell the front desk you think you have punches left, but not sure how many.  Watch him check and say with surprise, “You have 12 punches?” in a tone that wonders how you wouldn’t know that I have more than a couple.  It’s been awhile.  Plus you really wanted to know if the older pass is interchangeable with the newer one you know you have somewhere.  It is.
  9. Head to track.  Run 2k.  Walk a lap in between both.  Listening to your Melissa’s soundtrack on shuffle, cursing the fact that the free Westin headphones sound like a.m. radio.  Wonder on your walking lap if the guy doing lunges and starts is someone you know.  Debate saying hi, but then realize it isn’t.  Guy you know and random guy just have similar posture, and hair.  And auras.  Consider the benefit of track running to outside (warmer) and to treadmills (not a determined pace).
  10. Move all your stuff from one loonie locker to another.  The first didn’t have a pin, so you had to tie the key to your shoelaces.  Consider, instead, tying the key to your swim suit.  But decide the move is worth the effort.  A locker closer to the wet floor area does everyone a favour anyways.
  11. Ask the lifeguard for a lost-and-found pair of goggles.  Find two pair in the bin, both in need of repair.  Repair the nicer pair.
  12. Swim half a k.  At first think maybe you’ll do a full k.  Then 10 lengths.  Then settle for 20.  It’s been quite a few months.  As you swim think about how it’s really like riding a bike and feels nice for the shoulders.  Commit to all turns and no stops.  Think about going to Montreal for a good chunk of summer again so you can swim outside in a 50m pool.  Stand in the water for a bit and think about how lucky you are to have such a nice facility so close.  Think about a masters team again.  Try to determine the last time you swam.
  13. Get out and go to the hot pool.  Consider giving the goggles back first so they don’t think you’re going to steal them.  Then realize that they probably don’t care, especially since they’re just visiting.  Hot pool!  Do some firelog hip stretches and wonder if the hot pool is a good place to stretch and consider what it would be like to have a hip snap attributed to the heat making you feel like you can stretch further than you really can.  Eavesdrop on a conversation where a new teacher talks about his recent sub jobs.
  14. Return the goggles. Make a mental note of getting a pair next time you’re in the mall or seeing if the front desk has some.  Feel your hips, yup, both still there and feeling better.  Notice the new mural on the stairs and wonder if it’s finished.  50/50 chance really.  Maybe some of the athletes will never be coloured in.
  15. Drive home and realize that things are in order to swim and run next time, 1000X more than before.  Those broken routines are made all the more tough by the “stuff” that isn’t at the ready, but now it’s all the more ready.  You’ll always be more ready tomorrow.  But now tomorrow will be……….swim two.

Weekend end.

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Sometimes in the snow and slush and lack-of-daylight:
you just have to sign up for that undergraduate course you’ve been meaning to take,
and go shopping at three malls on their busiest day with your family laughing at the total insanity of it all,
but still not have started any gift shopping,
and have a surprise reunion with your cohort,
and get some wings amidst so much drama around you, you dream about it afterwards,
and make a return to yoga after way too many weeks away,
and have amazing practice after amazing practice after amazing practice,
and finish that novel you thought you’d be done by now,
over some pieces of chocolate bar with almonds and some Pepsi even though you didn’t even know you had some in the fridge,
reveling in the fact that the days ahead will be filled with friends, family, food, days off, and daydreams of traveling,
because every cell in me is telling me I need to do some traveling soon.  Each conversation recently, an invitation.

This winter isn’t just good for relaxing it’s good for stirring up
some restlessness.


Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

There has been tons of reuniting these last few weeks and months.

October had me visiting while making punch, hearing some disbelief that I have a punch bowl.  I do.  November had me in Vancouver, not only getting to see Fall again, but watching Bill Maher and Family Guy, in a more-than-familiar seat, while exclaiming that I got a friend request on Facebook.  December communing at Joey Tomatoes while actually wondering if I would choke on laughter.

My cohort wasn’t just tweeting hellos in Edmonton; we were actually getting to share some of our stories face-to-face.

See.  I claim, often loudly, to love the unfamiliar.  And like a wish that maybe too quickly came true, work has me feeling brand new again. Because I am.  Turns out, I’m not unafraid of change just somehow a bit unafraid to leap and take it all on.

The familiar, though has sustained me.   In inside jokes and meals, and quick trips and, “safe travels” I get to return to myself.

Restless for an adventure, overwhelmed, and laughing often, I have to admit, this Winter Break will be a welcome chance to regroup.

…All within a group I’m awfully grateful for.  And a school year that’s racing by, seemingly at record speed.