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Daily Archives: January 10, 2015

The Family that Swims Together…

My daughters started, at 8 and 11 years-old, diving lessons today during an open swim at their home-pool. The eldest, Bella, has been bugging me for a while to race me so today was the day. My wife and I packed our suits and we all headed to the pool. Now I’m a pretty fit guy so I anticipated smoking my kid on the short races but that she’d beat my butt on the longer ones as I’m not anywhere near swimming shape.

We didn’t have to bother with the 100’s. Heck, I don’t know if I could have held her off on a 50. I only beat her by a foot on the 25 yard free and three strokes on the breast (I’ve got a pretty mean breast stroke). I couldn’t have been prouder of my kid, she held nothing back and really took it to the old man. To tell you the truth, I was quite glad that we ran out of time before we could attempt the 100’s because she would have creamed me. Seriously, not even a contest. It helps, of course, that she’s been swimming a mile and a half (or more) three days a week at practice but I had no idea she was that good. Mrs. Bgddy and I decided that we’ll make this a little more of a regular thing because obviously really good for us.

After their lesson we took them out to lunch and then to see the Penguins of Madagascar movie (freaking phenomenal!) to round out a fantastic family day together.

Passing on the joy of fitness and racing to the kids, and sharing in it with them… It doesn’t get much better than that for an ex-drunk. Life is good.

Back in the Swing of Things… Happiness Abounds (as one would expect).

Well we’re finally completely immersed in winter up in Michigan.  We’ve got several inches of snow on the ground and it’s been cold as a witch’s ti…  Uh, it’s been pretty cold, with lows at or just below zero and highs not even in the double digits (Fahrenheit of course) so I could finally get back into the swing of things without trying to squeeze in outdoor miles.

There were two or three weeks there where things weren’t so easy though.  I was getting in some nice outdoor mileage, especially on Sundays, but with all of the rain we were getting (and its timing), cycling was rather sporadic.  After a while, with the on-again, off-again cycling, I started down the road of negativity pretty quickly.  If that weren’t bad enough (and it is), I started hurting a lot more than usual.  I was popping Tylenol like it was candy just to keep my back comfortable.

For those who haven’t been following my blog for a while, it’s been a while since I’ve written about my chronic back pain.  I used to live in a fair amount of pain – bad enough that Aleve was just enough to knock out the pain.  I’d go through weeks where I’d have to medicate three or four days out of that week just to function.  The other days, I would just live with the pain.  When I started running my back got better.  When I started cycling my back stopped hurting almost entirely, maybe once a month I’d need a single Aleve to take the edge off.  Part of the pain relief was due to a bite splint that my dentist made up for me but I’ve long since quit using that and I still feel quite alright.

It turned out the rest of that relief, the bulk of it in fact, was a benefit of daily exercise.  For more than three years I’ve ridden a bike or run a minimum of five days a week (usually six or seven), until two weeks ago.  What do you know, after a week off the back pain started creeping back.  Into the second week I wasn’t as miserable as I used to be but if I’d kept away from my daily dose of exercise I could see it wouldn’t be long until I was back into the Aleve on a daily basis again.

I’m almost a week back into it and I’m feeling a lot better already – nothing huge, about five hours between the trainer and last Sunday’s mountain bike ride, but it’s enough.

As is quite normal my good attitude is back as well because that’s just how fitness works.  Taking care of my fitness is no different than taking care of my family, my job or my sobriety:  If I skimp on what I need to do, bad things happen.