Thursday, October 22

A Fish out of Water: Tales of the Morning After the Mile

I have to tell you about my morning. Because it will make you feel better. No matter where you are physically on your own weight loss journey, I promise this will help. But before I can tell you about my morning, I have to tell you about what happened Wednesday.

Yesterday I took the kids swimming at the YMCA. And I took their cousin with us, so my kids would be entertained in the pool and I could swim. It worked, and I had the opportunity to swim laps. Which is great for toning your body. And burning calories. And increasing your spending on Advil.

About a week ago, I managed to squeak out a half mile by swimming 18 laps. It didn’t wear me out, or make me hurt or anything. So yesterday, I figured “Charlie, you can walk 8 miles and not fall over. I bet you can swim one measly mile!" (36 laps) And therefore, mentally challenging myself to the gills (and boy is THAT a loaded statement) I took off like a shot in the water.

To clarify, I need to purchase goggles very soon, because I am a contact wearer. I am terrified that I will lose one of my precious eyepieces in the water, so I don’t swim like a swimmer should. I do a combination of “keeping my head above the surface Breaststroke” and a back stroke. The backstroke has always been my favorite way to swim, because I am fast. And the breaststroke opens my body up to stretch, much like the calming positions of Fat Girl Yoga, so I can extend my body and really work the muscles without harm.

Or so I thought.

I also have a huge problem keeping track of how many laps I have done. Any of you who have been to the Danville walking group will attest to that. I am constantly asking “What number are we on?” And we only do 5 laps at the mall. So as I am swimming, working very hard to remember what lap I am on, I figured out a solution. I started naming all the foods I could think of with a weight watcher point value of the lap I was on. (To quote Weird Al Yankovic, “Look at me, I’m white and nerdy!”) Once I got stumped on that, I started giving myself harder things like “name 15 kids from your 3rd grade class” and “what was your high school schedule when you were 17?” - tough stuff like that.

Once I finally got into my 20’s, I began thinking about each year of my life and thanking God for all the blessings I received that year. For example, when I was 22, I had my daughter, Amy. So I began to pray for her, for her future, for her husband who is growing up right now too, and things like that. Then I went on for each kid (which took care of 22 through 24) and then 25 through 32 were praying for my extended family, my marriage, friends, all of you who read my blog, and the book I am currently writing. (Dancing from Fat to Freedom. Shameless Plug.)

33 through 36 were nothing more than positive self talk. Stuff like “You can do this! You won’t sink because of your God-given flotation devices on your chest, so just move your legs and arms.” I finally got it done, and I was hungry and exhausted. (BTW- why DOES swimming make you hungry? I’ve always wondered that.) I shamefully admit that I wanted to brag to my friend Kent Nelson that I survived a mile. He is famous in Danville for his family’s elite pool club, and is high up on the national swim team board. He and I like to poke fun at each other, and I really wanted to make him proud.

And when it was all said and done, the adrenaline kicked in. I was elated that I had accomplished such a feat, and although I was tired, I felt great.

So great, in fact, that I decided to wear high heels to church later that night. I needed to see if they caused any blisters before Saturday night (when I attend my husband’s stirring and riveting performance in “Civil War: the Musical” and I’ll be dressing to the nines) and since my friend Jamie DeVore insists on the wonderment and captivating power of HIGH heels (not the little ones. We are talking make-you-as-tall-as-your-hubby high) I must give a shot at the highest ones I have got. Which means I need a trial run so I can still walk on Sunday morning. I wore the heels, no blisters appeared, and all was well with the world.

About 11pm last night, after much tom-foolery on facebook, I started to feel the pangs of a Charlie-horse. I took 3 advil and a Tylenol PM and went to bed.

Which brings us to this morning.

The advil wore off about 5am, and I (stupidly) tried to sleep through it. I love sleep. I love sleep more than being awake. But I had a really good reason for being so tired. I swam a mile! From 5am till the alarm started singing at 6am, I tossed and turned, trying to ignore the aches and catch “just 9 more minutes of sleep.”

At 6, I finally gave up and decided the need for more advil outweighed the need for more sleep. Plus, I really had to pee. I put my legs over the side of the bed and stood up.

Which was exactly when the Charlie-horse hit me full force.

Crippling cramps convulsed through my calf, curling my toes and catching me off guard. Because I also had to pee, and was taken by surprise by the cramp, I stood there unable to walk the 10 feet to my toilet, and peed right there on the side of the mattress and the floor. After using my robe as a roll of Charmin, I sat back down on my soggy side of the mattress and rubbed my poor leg. When the cramp finally passed, I tenderly walked to the bathroom to see if there was anything left in my bladder. It was in vain, because it was all on my bed and the floor.

I spent the next 20 minutes taking a towel to the bed and floor, attempting to minimize the damage. WHY, OH WHY didn’t I put the mattress protecting pad back on when I changed the sheets last week? “Because I am an adult and I don’t pee the bed.” (Those were my exact mental words at the time. Figures.)

And remember the whole issue of keeping the head above water? I couldn't kneel to wipe up the floor very well (lest I send my leg back into the vice of the Charlie-horse) so I was kind of gently bending from the waist. Which reminded my neck that it was also irritated. I couldn't look at the floor and move my neck, so I had to work sight unseen. (It was still dark anyway, because I was not going to wake up Matt and let him laugh at me. He would be allowed to laugh later.) My awkward position became something like blind maid doing the hokey pokey- keep your right leg straight, don't try to hang your head down, wipe the puddle to the left, now you shake it all about....

I then put the robe, pee soaked towel and my pride in a garbage bag so Matt wouldn’t notice it, laid another towel on my side of the mattress, and covered it with the comforter. I would deal with it later.

When it was all said and done, the kids missed the bus, I didn’t get their lunches packed, and I had to drive them to school. I also created enough work for myself to last me the whole morning.

But hey! I swam a mile yesterday!


Lindsey @ A New Life said...

Oh Charlie....that is too funny!!! I'll be praying the rest of your day is serene and uneventful :-)

Tami said...

I am so impressed!!! You swam a mile! Oh how I need to have your determination to break a sweat and work out instead of putting it off.

And how many times I have laid in the bed ignoring the increasing pressure of my bladder for those few more minutes of sleep. From this day forward, I'll have this story in my mind and you can be sure I will never put it off again!

You are in inspiration to all of us who struggle with putting off sweating and peeing! :-D

Unreasonable Grace said...

I nearly peed on myself reading this! And I didn't swim a mile yesterday, the day before, or ever ... as far as I know.

You are an absolute hoot, Charlie. I SO enjoy your blog. Can't wait for your book to be published. Will you sign my copy?


Nichole said...

Oh Charlie - you're always just what I need!

Way to go on swimming a mile!!!

Danielle said...

Girl, I do love you so! You crack me up... and my husband, too. ;-)

Way to go on swimming a mile! That is fantastic. Major KUDOS to you!

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