I am a strong swimmer, but not a fast one. I had to try at least five times to pass the sprint portion of the lifeguard exam. I needed my certification because I had already been hired as a lifeguard and waterfront manager for the summer. Clearly the job hinged on my ability to pass the stupid sprint.
I could not believe that the muscular boy who looked like he was drowning when he was treading water and had terrible form and I think may have been afraid of water... was able to get certified long before I was. He just muscled his way through the water and reached the other end seconds before the whistle blew. I missed it by one tenth of a second.
My instructor let me keep trying. Daily. For a week. I practiced with a former Russian Olympian as my coach, giving me pointers on form. It shaved some time off my sprint, but not enough. I missed my goal by one hundreth of a second. When I eventually passed at a different pool with a different instructor they timed me with an old-fashioned ticking stopwatch that didn't have tenths or hundreths.
I could swim for hours. I could swim for days. I could swim in circles around Drowning Boy. I could escape from his iron grip underwater and get away before he could grab me (we were partners when practicing this; he wasn't some big jerk). I was just not fast. Would never make the swim team.
While I like swimming, running really is not my thing. When I have routinely gone for runs (many years ago) it was strictly because I thought it would be good for me. Like going to the dentist. Or eating cooked green peppers. Or answering my phone...
I was a distance runner in junior high which meant I ran the mile and sometimes the two mile event for the girls' track team. I was not good. I ran solely to stay in shape for soccer. Which I was better at, but still not good.
I was originally recruited for the track team because I was the only girl in my gym class who didn't just walk around the track when they were timing us. I think my time was over ten minutes that first try. And even though I never got terribly fast (I think my best time was 7 minutes). But I earned first or second place at almost every match strictly because nobody else was competing. I got the points for my team just by being there and crossing the finish line.
I didn't do track or cross country in high school. I don't know why. I think because I was so busy with all my other extra-curriculars that the only sport it was worth making room for during the school year was soccer. The coach at the high school tried to recruit me because I shared a last name with a runner who was very fast and he were hoping I was her younger sibling. We were not, so far as I know, related.
I don't know what the connection is between these things and the Kicking of Depression's Ass. Perhaps I am just hoping that although I do not recover quickly (having battled with Depression for the last twenty three years), I recover with great endurance. I am still here. Plodding along. Gonna get a ribbon because there is no one competing against me. Will eventually figure out what I need to do to pass. It won't be flashy. It won't be pretty. But it will get me where I need to be.
I think it's just that I am stubborn. And I try to use that character trait for good instead of evil. I am not a sprinter. When I try bad things happen. I turn my ankle. I scrape my head on the side of the pool while doing a kick turn. I hyperventilate or have a full-on asthma attack. I am an endurer. I outwit and outlast, but I do not outrun.
I need to remember this in terms of what I want to do to get life back to normal now that I am back to normal. Normal for me does include bouts of energetic crafting, cleaning or whatever project-type thing I am currently obsessed with. But normal for me should also include thoughts of endurance. What pace can I keep up if what I am doing needs to continue indefinitely.
I cannot frantically clean disastrous areas in my house for whole days. Becuase this is not sustainable. I need to think bigger. Not a sprint. The problem is on this journey to decluttered wonder and the land of organized milk and honey things don't stay where I put them. Because I will put them someplace else. Or one of the other four people I live with will come through and move things around.
It's like running on a track that you think ends in a mile, but as you are running people keep laying more pavement and depending on how fast they are working and how fast you are running-- some days you can see the end of the track, and some days you can't.
Grateful Crap: Getting a dispensation to write a post after nine pm. I will get off internet promptly afterwards. I may set up parental controls on my computer to automatically log me out...
took meds in the morning (150mg sertraline, 450mg bupropion)
tea with a friend
decluttered/dusted room so I will be able to breathe at night
I am made of awesome.
Quaker, teacher, parent,