Figuring This Out

Had dinner with Maurice tonight, which was long overdue. We haven’t seen each other since before Christmas, as evident by us finally exchanging Christmas presents (btw, we’ve never done that before, but this year we both had the same idea to give each other whiskey rocks based on a conversation we had a couple of months ago. We found out after Thanksgiving that we had both gotten each other not only a Christmas gift, but the same thing). Anyway, I talked with him about some of the stuff I’m going through with my training. He’s a cyclist more than anything else and has trained for things like the Tahoe Death Ride. We compared and contrasted the differences of training for a long bike ride and training for a long swim. For him, cycling is just hopping on his bike and just doing it without having to stop to rest, eat, etc. Plus his bike rides have pit stops so it’s a pre-designated place for where he can get something to eat and/or drink. He’s been cycling for a long time and generally on any given day he can go ride 100 miles. Swimming for me? Not so much. Aside from the drowning factor, there are no pre-designated rest stops and I have to pace myself to be steady the entire time as I’m not going to have any kind of downhill/uphill pace changer. That’s just going to be me out there. I’m new to this though so I could provide what very little I knew about what I’m training for. He’s been seriously cycling for a very long time. I think too that he’s watched enough professional cycling over the years too that he knows how that sport is done. I’m not even sure if any open water swims are really televised.

And I still feel like I have no idea WTF I’m doing. I don’t know what benchmarks I can expect. I don’t know what’s the difference in strength as a swimmer. I swam 3 miles on Saturday, which wasn’t a big deal for me. Increasing yardage will only help me so much. I’m aiming to do 11 miles on 17th August (ironically that’s also Maurice’s birthday). I don’t know anything about how to train for it. A couple of people have suggested maybe doing some of the shorter open water swims (1 -3 miles), but I don’t have to train for that as I could jump into the water and do that right now. I also have no desire to be in an event that people race, which I’ve read that some of them get really vicious and mean (e.g. kicking other people to get ahead, ripping other swimmer’s goggles off, swimming right over other swimmers…seriously dude, that’s just all uncalled for). That’s the last situation I want to put myself in. The experience I’m looking for is a more peaceful and calm swim.

I really want something to train for and to feel like I’m training for something. I also need help because I am so new to this. Would I do this still without anyone offering to help? Probably most likely not. Like with happened 2 Saturdays ago, I can end up in situations where I’m just not prepared and start unintentionally inflicting harm upon my body. That incident scared me. What I may not have conveyed then was that I was crying during part of that experience. It was horrible and I can’t say I enjoyed any of it and it’s not something I’d look back and ever laugh at. I’m terrified of trying that workout again or even anything bigger than that…at least on my own. I could end up seriously harming myself, or worse, which isn’t an idea that I’m into.

I don’t have anything to prove to anyone as this is something that I want to accomplish on my own. I don’t get motivation from a perceived “I’ll show them!” type of mentality. That just turns me off. In fact, it just pisses me off as I don’t let those kind of people into my life. My response to that kind of talk is to just shut the person out. Negativity has never and will never be a driving force in my life. I respond to positive input as that’s way more uplifting for me and makes me feel like anything is possible.

Do I need someone constantly holding my hand? Not necessarily, but this early in the game, I’m really looking for guidance and a mentor. I’m fresh out of the starting gate and don’t know the ropes. Maybe after a couple of months I’ll feel more confident of not having so much direction, but I’m still trying to figure this whole thing out. It’s scary for me and I’m brand new to this. Unfortunately a lot of the time I’m feeling rather alone, which isn’t a good place for my mentality to be. Hoping the feeling subsides, but I won’t feel more confident until I figure out what exactly is going on, what the plan looks like, and how I can check for myself that I’m right on track. I don’t do well with the unknown and nothing freaks me out more than not knowing what my schedule is. Maybe that’s why I’ve been waking up every night around 1 AM. Seems so weird that something like having a schedule helps ease my emotional state, but it really does. I’m a planner, and anyone who’s known me for 5 minutes knows that. I need to get this figured out otherwise I’m going to fail. I don’t want to fail, but the only thing I am 100% certain about is that I can’t do this on my own.

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