Week 1 – DUNZO

The first full week of school and practice was interesting and exhausting! I don’t have classes Fridays so I have been lounging around my apartment all morning catching up on blogs, doing laundry, and downing Mucinex like it’s my job. Yes, if you caught that last part…I’m sick. I have an awful cold/cough (I think!) and have been popping Vitamin C and Mucinex (aka miracle worker) for the last three days…to no avail! Sometimes these things just need to run their course!

The human body is such a mystery sometimes. Last year when I wasn’t taking care of myself, I should have been getting sick all the time! The only thing that did happen was that I injured myself a week before our championship meet (not exactly a recipe for success). It’s so ironic and a little humorous that now I get sick in spite of taking better care of myself than in a long time! I’m guessing that my body just needs to get back in the swing of things – waking up at 5:45 every other day for morning practices, walking around campus, being around 20,000 people (with an infinite amount of germs!) every day. It also doesn’t help that this last heat wave has really impacted my quality of sleep. Hopefully this longgg weekend I can recover a little and be re-energized for next week πŸ™‚

To sum up – it was the best week I’ve had in a long time. My creative writing class is really interesting because it’s only fifteen people – the smallest class I’ve had since freshman year. Though I’m no expert at interpreting poems, the class is fun because we get to have intellectual, close discussions about readings. The past three years have been full of huge science classes for me (between 300 and 1200 people) and so one-on-one discussion is a rarity. We had to do our first “poetry experiment” and mine is getting critiqued by everyone in class next Wednesday – I’m nervous! But I’m sure I’ll get some constructive feedback, which is always great.

Genetics has been TOUGH. I’ve been spending most of my free time on that class in preparation for the first quiz, which was yesterday at the end of lecture. I think it went well so the time put in was well worth it. The lab for the class is very intense, and we spent the first period on Wednesday using ether to make fruit flies pass out and then sexing the flies. Not exactly my favorite, but doing real crosses with the flies should be..interesting.

But my favorite class so far has to be “Natural Remedies and Ethnohealth.” The professor has to be one of the most different people I’ve ever met, and he brought in some plants that common medicines or poisons are made from today. He brought in a Pacific yew branch from which the breast and ovarian cancer drug Taxol is made. He also showed us a real headdress from a shaman he met in South America during his travels. This class is once a week for two hours, and he kept the entire class captivated the whole time. I think there is a lot to be said for natural or alternative medicines, and I’m looking forward to learning more.

Swimming has also been great! In spite of being sick I have felt amazing in the water. I love being with my teammates but there is something to be said for just the feeling of being in the water. My heart pounds, my lungs burn and my legs go almost numb when I am pushing myself. But it’s SO worth it! I rhythmically glide along the surface, my arms and legs dipping in and out of the water, my core strong and holding me up. When I’m swimming my mind goes blank and I feel right, like there is no place in the world I need to be and nothing else I need to be doing at that very moment. I have just loved being back in the pool this past week and know that my heart is in the right place with swimming for the first time in a longgg time. I am truly passionate about swimming and am glad it’s still a major part of my life.

One other thing I did this morning was to e-mail my coach because each of us has to send him our goals and set-up an individual goal meeting. This task made me nervous, so naturally I procrastinated on sending it until the deadline – today. Goals are a “danger zone” for me because my inner perfectionist has set me up for failure in the past by setting goals I deemed unattainable (unconsciously). Last year I e-mailed my coach with goals that were not in my comfort zone, and they were one of the reasons my ED got so bad. I felt I had to live up to these goals no matter what the cost.

This year I set realistic goals. I set a goal of helping and leading my teammates, of enjoying my final year as a competitive swimmer and taking advantage of whatever opportunities I get to race at meets. I set a goal of being present. We are required to send both time and place goals, so I sent them – in a round-about way. I said that I try to stay away from “numbers” like that, and said that there is no doubt in my mind I can swim up to the same standard I did my sophomore year. (That year I qualified for finals at the Ivy Champs in all my events and also met time standards to swim at the U.S. Open and USA Winter Nationals.) The times are fast, but they are something I have done in the past and know I can do again, so there is not this overwhelming pressure to change anything I am doing in a drastic way. I show up to practice and have a great time with my teammates. I listen to my body and push myself when I can and when it makes sense.

Today I feel more tired, so I plan on taking it a little easier at practice tonight. Fridays are great because we get to do stations! Some are dryland exercises focusing on the core and some are interesting swim sets. We get to practice with the boys team which is a nice switch-up. It’ll be a fun workout and a nice way to end the first week πŸ™‚

More posts to come this weekend!!! Hope everyone has a wonderful Friday πŸ™‚

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2 Responses to Week 1 – DUNZO

  1. muchfruit says:

    This is a perfect explanation of why swimming is my favorite form of exercise. It’s so meditative. My mind goes blank in the water–it’s the only place that happens–and then after a while it dawns on me that I’ve been swimming for a long time (well, long for me is like 45 minutes, which is probably your warm-up. Ha.) Also, I think your attitude towards bumping up your meal plan is awesome. You will feel waaaay better, like you’re already noticing, and it will help you accomplish your goal of being present.

    • Kim says:

      Swimming *is* amazing, right?? I just love it. I think I’m going to keep doing it even after I “retire” because though I do like running it doesn’t have the same relaxing power. My mind wanders during pretty much any other activity, so I’ll probably try and keep swimming a couple times a week. And 45 minutes is a good amount! It’s a great workout for the whole body and doesn’t wreck your joints. I’m glad to hear you share my love of swimming πŸ™‚

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