Thursday, August 26, 2010

Returning to School

I'm feeling quite terrified about school, finances. Everything is done except for purchasing my books. I've done all the leg work, met all the pre-reqs. I never went to college full time. I was always working full time and attending school part-time...NYU and then Norwalk Community Technical College, both for nursing. And while I wouldn't say I bombed completely, I certainly didn't have great semesters all the time. Hell, even high school had some really, really low (and high) points. Some semesters were much, much better than others. And I've had the thought of "screw it, forget about school, just find yourself another job to make ends meet." But I know I won't be happy doing that.

I've made as many plans as I can for my son after school for the times I won't be here, and I'll be having to trust him to take a lot more responsibility for himself. That scares the absolute crap out of me. I know he can handle it...he's a good kid...but I'm torn with thinking that he's too young to have to handle it. That probably sounds mamby pamby, but he'll grow up soon enough. I think at times he borders on the spoiled, and that's my own fault though I'm trying to remedy that. Some things he lacks, that every child should have...and some things, he probably has in excess, more than any child needs. How do people who have raised productive, healthy, grown kids do that?

Part of my reason for wanting to change careers, aside from having wanted to pursue nursing long ago when I was a young adult is that it offers the flexibility for where I live, work, and the hours I work. Those things will be a lot more amenable to being available to my child and making ends meet. As Zachary gets older, the greater the outside influences are on him. All very normal...but I expect to be aware of them, to guide him when he needs it, and let him learn from his own mistakes (without totally effing up his life, lord knows we're all perfectly capable of doing that as adults without much assistance).

I guess I'm just rambling...I don't know how parents make it to the "finish line" with "good" kids who grown into good adults (that have always been good people)...I want mine to be one and mostly, I feel inept to manage my own life, let alone be responsible for the development of another's. There really is just a lot of crap in the world...staying focused on the good stuff? It's hard...I don't mean to sound like I'm whining...I guess I just think much too much. This isn't news to you though, if you've learned anything about me in the past few years, eh?

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Morning After

Yesterday was the Witch City Triathlon. It was the first triathlon that I've ever participated in...and completed. If anyone had told me 3.5 years ago that I'd be competing in and completing a triathlon, I'd have thought they were crazy. Yet yesterday I did just that.

A few things about the "journey" of training were challenging, interesting, awesome, amazing. When I started the Cardiac Risk Reduction Program at NSMC back in March 2007, I met Brandi Dion of B&S Fitness Programs. She was the person who was mentoring/training our group in the physical fitness/exercise portion of the program. I remember thinking "wow...if I could be more like her..." And she talked about triathlons and her fitness company with her husband, Steve. Fast forward to 2010, and it's the BNS Fitness 12 week triathlon training program that I chose and participated in to prepare. And prepare us they did...coached, supported, encouraged, heard our fears and helped us work through them. And during a couple of our open water swims at Devereux Beach, I saw Heidi Rubin, who was our nurse during the Cardiac Risk Reduction Program. And Melinda Vaturro, who is still my dietitian, well, I got to hear about her goal of completing an IronMan...which by the way, she did the end of July in Lake Placid, NY. These are people who don't just talk the talk, they walk the walk. It's inspiring and affirming of the choices I make every day.

I'm struggling with my's fairly stable now, but about 25 to 30 lbs. above my lowest post-op weight. I'm trying to be kind to myself and remember where I was, and that even if I'm heavier than I'd like to be, I'm still active and healthy and living my life...and every day I continue to work on the goals to improve and keep/attain greater success.

Brandi sent us email before the race about mental preparation. Visualizing the perfect race, and the "oh shit!" race where stuff goes wrong. I did both...and then I prayed the night before and the morning of for a safe and fun race. And you know what? I got it. It was awesome. My ankle rolled just past the halfway point of the run...I was down for a few minutes and not even sure I could stand for a few minutes. But eventually, I got up and started hobbling...and eventually, thanks to endorphins and adrenalin, resumed my run and finished my race strong. I can't walk today...I still have no idea how I finished running, but I did...I finished strong with a sprint. And my friend Lea, who signed on to do this with me back in March, finished as well...we ROCK! This is my ankle this morning, the day after.

I finished 180th overall (out of 201 participants)...6th in my age group. My swim time was 15:43 (4th in my age category); T1 4:02; Bike time 50:55 (6th in my age category); T2 2:13; Run time 31:56 (8th in my age category). Total race time 1:44:51. I'm happy with that. :-)

This is Lea and me before getting completely suited up for the swim.

On the beach and ready to go.

And the ladies swim is underway.

Out of the water and heading for transition to bike.

Me heading out on the bike.

In from the ride.

Heading out for my run.

Almost to the finish line!

And this is our group that trained together after we all completed the race.