Stroll & Savor in Belmont Shore

IMG_0547[1]Wednesday, 18 September 2013

I have a personal trainer who is a god.  I don’t know how long I’ve been going to Mike Henderson — but more than a decade.  The first time I went to see him I was so crippled up with sciatica that I could not walk upstairs to the gym; I had to take the elevator.  For much of the first year or so that I went to him I did nothing but work on back strength to escape the pain.  And while he had me on rollers, exercise balls, benches, etc. he would talk to me — about the possibility of taking a walk, about what food portions look like on a plate, about nutrition..  After about a year or so I finally said to him, “Look, I’m NEVER taking a walk.  Quit talking about it.”

I could ramble on about Mike for pages and pages.  He’s amazing.  He never did stop talking to me about the possibility of taking a walk and one day I finally did.  He’s the guy who helped me get started running.  (Run a block and walk a block.  I could not believe I was expected to be able to run a whole block.)

Today as I was working out we were talking about swimming distances.  The pool at the JCC is 25 meters long.  I count a lap as out and back.  That’s 50 yards.  I can currently swim 8 50-yard laps, resting inbetween.  (I was asking my running coach what I should be doing in the pool — fast or distance — and his answer was “first you have to learn how to swim”.  He’s right in some sense — he will be better at this than I am.  But in the mean time, let’s call that arm and leg movement thing I’m doing swimming.  Just humor me.)  Mike suggested that instead of trying to swim 100 yards without stopping, that I try and swim 75 yards without stopping.  Duh.  Baby steps for swimmers.

8.5 50-yard laps — or 17 25-yard laps — depending on how one chooses to count it — is 1/4 mile.  I can swim 1/4 mile.  (Yeah, yeah, not without stopping in between the laps — but still.)

I’ve ordered swim suits from Lands’ End.  They should be here next week.  I have my first official triathlon swimming lesson on Monday.  Look at me, I’m expanding my horizons.  (No, I cannot sit on a bike seat yet.  One thing at a time.)

And speaking of one thing…I go for the second MRI on Friday.  It will take an hour.  Which means next Monday or Tuesday (when I was supposed to be flying to Germany), I will get the diagnosis for whatever this is.  And the prescription for treatment.  It’s a damn good thing that I was able to let go of that race.  I would be frantic trying to get this thing solved if I was still trying to make the race.  Yesterday I got the hotel cancelled.  And I cancelled the flight to Austin (where I was meeting a friend to start the trek to Germany), but kept the reservation as a “ticket” instead of paying $150 to put the miles back into my account.  I’ll likely go to Austin again.  And I told my bosses that I would be working next week.

I have this friend who is 5.  Tonight my friend and I spent time together while his mom and dad went to Open House at the kindergarten school.  My friend and I went to Stroll and Savor in Belmont Shore — actually he lead the way and I followed.  You buy a book of tickets for $10 — 12 tickets — and restaurants on 2nd Street serve varying size portions of 1 or 2 things in exchange for tickets.  I always assumed they would be little bites.  I’ve never done this before.   The portion sizes vary — but generally speaking they are a LOT more generous than you would assume.  We walked up to the yogurt shop, where he had mango yogurt with gummie bears on top (“I love mango”, says he of the sophisticated palate.)  Then we walked the other way and had Thai food.  And then bought a dessert for his mom and had to go home to put it in the freezer for her.  And then we went back to the house and played until Mom and Dad came home.

I LOVE seeing the kid starting out in the educational system.   I now see that when you start school is when you become tied to the calendar week as more than a vague concept.  Never again will the kindergartner get to do anything all morning (or for an hour) because it’s interesting.  And he was repeating the school rules.  Rule #1, follow all directions quickly.  Rule #2, raise your hand for permission to speak.  Rule #3, Raise your hand for permission to leave your seat.  Rule #4 I forget, Rule #5, be kind to your teacher.  Do you not love rule #5?  My friend was telling me that his teacher (Mrs. K) has glasses and so I.

Although right this second I don’t know where my clear glasses are.  I had to drive home in the dark wearing sunglasses.

In the end, due to schedule constraints, I did not swim today (regardless of what others might call it when I move my arms and legs and move through the water).  I lifted weights with Mike.


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