Thursday, May 26, 2011

First Swim of the Season

I went for my first swim of the season today and it was great! Those who know me know that I’ve had an intense fear of the water for years and years. I’m happy to say that the fear has now become more of a discomfort than an all-out-panic-attack-inducing event. I still don’t have the confidence that I’d like to have, but I have to say, I felt good today. I hadn’t realized how much my improved arm strength would help with my ease of swimming. The first 12 laps were no problem at all. The next 8 were a bit more trying, but not a struggle. I was pleased.

Everything about today’s swim was great – well, except for the time when I was in the middle of a lap and a pigeon started flying way too close to me and I started to panic a bit (yes, I have a fear of birds) and all I could imagine was that this bird was going to be the death of me … and that while I was panicking, they’d open that cage under the swimming pool and let out the sharks (as JH has threatened … joked … ummm, no threatened!) – Major panic … but then the bird flew away … and I cautiously searched the water for sharks and didn’t see anything … and continued on my swim.

Whew. That was a close one.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Boom Boom Pow

I had my first boxing lesson two days ago! I would have typed this blog entry sooner, but my knuckles were all bruised and swollen!

I had been looking for something to change up my routine, so I decided to learn how to box … and I love it! Several of my friends have asked me why. They think it’s about the actual boxing and my mom is terrified that I’ll actually get punched in the face (especially since H’s fist came very close to my face several times whenever I let my guard down), but they’re getting waaayy ahead of me.

Right now it’s about the training. It’s about the technique. It’s about developing the skill.

I’ve totally been inspired by the Gleason’s Gym training handbook. What they’ve said about developing mental clarity, calm of mind, strength in one’s soul, and confidence in one’s abilities is something that really moved and inspired me. So, I put my boxing gloves (yes, they’re pink), hand wraps, and all other paraphernalia into my gym bag and headed for my first training session.

OMG. What a workout. The sweat was pouring, my heart was racing, my muscles were working – it was awesome! Punch after punch after punch. Learning that so much of it really is based on technique. It was exhilarating. The bruised and swollen knuckles – though alarming (and painful) at first – are totally worth it!

I can’t wait until my next lesson.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


When you hear a fire alarm, what would your reaction be? Would you stop doing whatever you were doing, just grab your purse/wallet/phone and follow the emergency exit route? [I know that when a fire alarm goes off you really should leave everything behind, but I'm being realistic here.] Well, ideally that's what I think should happen.

Do you know what happens at the place I work? After the unbelivably deafening alarm that shocks everyone (nearly to death - or the loss of one's ovaries ... don't ask, it's a long story) ... we jolt to attention, clutch our heart [yes, it's that loud], and then just get back to work. A few minutes later, the alarm will go off again ... five or ten minutes go by and the alarm goes off again. Aside from the 20-30 seconds of shrill ringing that makes it impossible to focus or breathe we basically ignore this alarm. This happens while we're in the office and while we're in class. Do we do anything about it - no.

I am absolutely sick and tired of this fire alarm. It's useless and it's a hazard. Just the other day I was walking to class with J and the alarm happened to go off as we were in a narrow hallway. I kid you not, I thought I was going to vomit from the intensity of the alarm. Every part of me was shaking. If there was a real fire, there's no way we could hear somebody's cry for help - actually, I'm convinced that if there was a real fire we wouldn't be able to move because of the shocking sound ... plus we've given up considering it as a warning bell - now it's just a nuisance.

So much for health and safety.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Writing ... writing ... writing

So, I feel like I've been glued to my desk for the past three months. I managed to streamline everything and reserve just a bit of time for family and the gym, but other than that, I've just been at my desk - researching, reading, and writing.

My first proper draft of my thesis is finally complete. I know that I have a long way to go, but I also feel like I've come quite a long way. I would love it if I could complete my PhD this year, but I don't know. I have been so overwhelmed by the task ... it's not easy to have to read and refer to 200 sources and fit the analysis and exploration within 80,000 words ... it may sound like that's a lot of room to play with - but trust me, it's not.

Anyway. I feel relieved -- and definitely want to take a bit of a break before getting back to work.

Wish me luck.