I have been training in the pool and a bit on my bike as a distraction and to keep me from losing my mind. I have a lot of energy and I need a non chemical sedative to maintain order in my life. Tuesday night I swam one of the hardest workouts I have ever swum. The hardest part of the workout was a set of 5 times 100 butterfly with fins, at the 2900 m mark of the workout. I could not feel my arms by the end of the set and I was very concerned I was going to vomit in the pool. It was awesome. In total, over the past 4 days I have swum around 12 km!
Last night I swam with my friends in our informal swim group. Moving from the Aquatic Centre to the Second Beach Pool presents some difficulties. The people who frequent Second Beach Pool are often naive to the etiquette of swim lanes. If you are slow do not go into the fast lane. If you are doing breast stroke with no goggles then you may not belong in the fast lane. Children who are unsupervised often wander a bit close to the training lanes causing havoc at times by swimming into lanes. There is also the aspect of the sun and the lack of flags.
I was working on my backstroke last night. Fresh from the indoor pool with flags to signify the upcoming wall, I was lulled into the rhythmic nature of a smooth and easy stroke. As I lifted my arm to reach back to grab some water I hit the wall, literally, at full speed. Unfortunately I was also beginning to tilt my head back to see where the wall was. The result was a giant goose egg on my forehead and a good cut on the bridge of my nose from where my goggles hit the cement. I still managed to finish my backstroke set.
Today it hurt to wear my bike helmet and every time I tried to push my hair out of my eyes it also was a bit painful. Only I would happen to acquire a brain injury from swimming into a wall. I have been suffering a bit of a headache as well. The worst aspect of my collision was the good number of attractive men at the pool. It seemed like everywhere I looked there was an attractive guy. With a giant bump on my forehead I felt particularly hot.
I decided to take today off as I was very tired when I got home from work. Tomorrow I hope to go to the gym and hit the pool for an easy swim. I am really enjoying the new training and lack of required workouts. I am also starting to get my swim stroke back and gain some strength in the water. I am starting to feel the water and I hope to be back up to my former swimming self in a few months. I am even entertaining the idea of trying a swim meet this fall!
Sponsorship RevisitedFirst, thanks for all the comments! I believe disagreement is a good thing and stimulates meaningful discussion.
I continue to believe that being an outspoken, flaming homo precludes me, to a certain extent, from support from any shoe company. The thing about sponsorship is that it is not on how fast you have run but on who you may know or be able to influence. It is not that I have not been considered for support. I have been in touch with many individuals involved with shoe companies over the years with others being in touch with me. The comment I have gotten on several occasions is something along the lines of, 'we don't know who this guy is and we would rather give stuff to someone we know.' Last year I was 3rd in the BC Timex series, 12th in SunRun and ran sub 31 minutes. At the national Timex series race they had me placed in the top 3 (I heard this second hand so it may not be true). I have been on a National Championship Winning Cross Country Team, been team captain for 2 years in university, have run multiple national championships at the open, university and road race levels, I volunteer in my community and work in a career that has required long hard years of study. I have my masters degree and work to enable people to reach their potential in the areas of self care, leisure and productivity. Every day I give everything I have to both help others and improve myself through continued hard work both physically and intellectually. I guess I do agree with one aspect of the comments, maybe I do deserve a pat on the back or some minuscule support for taking a risk and putting myself on the line. I may just deserve a little something as a reward for taking the hard road and trying to be good. Not just good but great.
As I sit here typing after slightly less then 2 weeks off running, while also contemplating a life without the stress and pain of elite competition, I am confident I will not be getting sponsored any time soon. I no longer have the drive to schmooze and handshake to get the prized box of free stuff. I would also worry if I were to run poorly or get an injury while sponsored. I also want to continue to write and do whatever the fuck I wish. I do not want to worry about what brand X would think if they saw me messed up and dancing with thousands of half naked men. I would not want to be worried about whether or not to wear my brand x singlet at the gay pride race. I want to do things that have meaning for me and that I want to complete. I do not want to participate in activities that others think would be beneficial or will make me more 'marketable'. I am incredibly proud of everything I have accomplished over the years. It was never in the hopes of free stuff or recognition. It was for me. It was the only way I knew how to build a body of evidence so that I could look at myself and say 'yes, I have value.'
I believe in myself. I guess I do not need a box of free stuff to reinforce that belief.