WEEK 11/4, DAY 6: Nothing like an OW swim to make you feel alive

I love openwater swimming. Forget how slow I am - it takes me 45 minutes or more to go 1500m. Something about being out on a glassy lake first thing in the morning makes me feel so happy. Being surrounded by lots of athletic people, the quiet and calm that are only interrupted by the sound or sight of another swimmer breaking the water as they pass you or you pass them, all fill me with a sense of satisfaction that can't be matched by any other activity.

Maybe it's because it makes me feel like a "real" triathlete to swim thousands of meters with almost no rest, or maybe it's because, in the water, you can exhaust yourself without getting sweaty. Or maybe it's just that, every time I go to Lucky's and make two crossings, I think back to those days that I was too sick to make 1, or that I was not confident enough in my swimming abilities to know that I could make 2. Either way, it reminds me how nice it is to be alive, and how I'm spending my free time doing exactly what I want to be doing.

Frankly, I need the satisfaction. I'm a little distracted by work. You won't see this too often, as I usually reserve this blog for my workouts only, and I blog about my life on myspace.

Let me precede this all by saying I am a big risk-taker. A lot of people think this is a good quality, but I have spent a large part of the last ten years trying to teach myself to be content with where I am instead of trying to reach for something bigger. I recently left Great Big Company, where I worked from 2000-2003, and again from 2006-2007. The frst time I left GBC to go work for Little Bitty Company, which was started by 2 ex-employees from GBC and who I admired very much - our relationship was horrible. I left LBC with so little self-esteem existing that I spent 3 years taking the first job that came along trying to find something better. I fought and fought until I got a job back at GBC.

Little did I know, in '03 when I first left GBC, that I was starting to have all these health problems, which were not discovered until 2006 and 2007. It ended up stalling my entire life: school, work, training - I even took a leave of absence from GBC. About 6 months prior, my very first boss from my original years at GBC called me and offered me a position at his own company. (We'll call it LBC2.) I didn't want anything to do with it. But when I talked to him, and as I got sicker, I realized he believed in me enough and would support me enough to make my healing, training and school schedules possible. And on top of that, the money was better.

Fast forward. Here I am at LBC2. I'm doing a bunch of stuff I haven't done in a while, and a lot of it is stuff I was never super educated about. I alternate between feeling completely inept and so bored that I can't keep myself from blogging or catching up on my forums. And I'm the kind of person who loooves to stay busy and can always find something to do. On top of that, my boss, who I thought was supporting and friendly, is constantly saying things in front of other people that expose the personal details he knows about me from the past - once a flier came in for a women's conference and he said, "oh, look, MA, this is for you - 'How to Manage Your Emotions at Work!'" He even told me I was a drug addict because I have to take valium for the inner ear problems.

Thank God for training, or I'd go nuts!! Some days it's the only thing I have to look forward to.

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