My counter.

I’ve been helping with a swim clinic for local high schoolers. Today I counted laps for one of the girls who is hoping to swim on the varsity team this coming year. Among the many things she needs to do to make this dream a reality is to swim a 500 yards in under 9 minutes. It was strange being the one that counted instead of the one swimming. The whole thing made me very nostalgic.

Since my last high school meet the pool has been renovated. Nothing really looks the same, but I can still remember what it was like to compete in that space. I can hear the roar of the crowd and encouraging word from my coaches and team mates. I can feel the butterflies in my stomach as I stepped onto the starting block and the comforting feeling of hitting the water when the race begins. While helping with this clinic a flood of memories has swept over me, and dropping the counter into the water today for someone else was no different.

There is a strange bond that is formed between a distance swimmer and their counter. I remember more than a few times looking down at the end of my before the race and seeing their encouraging smile and feel a rush of confidence. The counter is a constant form of encouragement, when you see the number drop you know someone is cheering for you even though you can hear almost nothing. A 500 can be a long lonely race at times, but I loved it and once upon a time I was pretty good.

The record I once held has been broken. My shoulder can handle very little swimming and nothing too fast, but my mind still has a passion for the water and I am glad to be given this opportunity to share my knowledge and encouragement to this generation of swimmers.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

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Over thinking.

Last night I was exhausted, last night I could not get my brain to turn off, last night I hardly slept. My mind was circling in no real direction and rarely settled on a single thought, but it kept me up far too long last night. I wish I knew how I finally got it to turn off so I could get a few hours of sleep before my alarm went off. I have a feeling that knowledge would be very valuable in the future.

Waking up tired was not how I had hoped to start the day, but thankfully I made it through alright. Hopefully tonight I will fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. Otherwise it could be a long Friday. Maybe someday I will have less sleepless nights caused by over thinking and worrying, but I think chances are pretty slim of that every coming true.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Forward.

One year ago I never thought I would be where I am now. Honestly, a year ago I was not quite sure what direction my life would be going and could hardly think a week ahead let alone a year. There are still many things I need to figure out, but day by day I like to think that the picture is getting clearer. I have so many ideas for how I would like my life to move forward, hopes and dreams that might someday come true. The fears of my past still feel like a storm cloud following me but the future is bright, and I plan on pushing forward letting the storm fade away.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Walking in the dark.

There was a time you could have blindfolded me and I would have known where every root and stone was on the campground. Now that is not so much the case. Tonight I walked in the dark and felt like I was going to trip and fall. I still love every moment I get to spend here, but so much has changed.

Many of the cottages where friends once lived have changed hands and are now occupied by strangers. Where the creek was once deep it is now shallow. It sad to see the things I once did no longer happen, but it is equally wonderful to see new traditions being made.

Although I am sad I can no longer walk fearlessly around in the dark, I am glad the best parts of this place continue to live on generation after generation.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Go with the flow.

I went for a hike today and I had an interesting encounter. The trail I did is what I like to call a “tourist hike”. Lots of pretty views on a mostly stone bock trail. Every uphill climb was a stair case, and some paths were even carved through the walls. With all that being said it truly is a beautiful hike.

Because this trail is populated by mostly non-hikers it can be difficult to pass by slower people who don’t always realize they are blocking the entire path. At one set of stairs I was blocked by two groups going horribly slow. When I saw an opening to pass I took it. I was polite as I wiggles in between them, but I heard one of them say to me “just go with the flow”. At the time I was slightly embarrassed, but did not say anything and zipped on up the stairs.

For the next mile or so I thought about the encounter. I did not feel like I was rude, if anything they were being rude not allowing space for faster hikers to pass without trouble. What bothered me was the fact that I was expected to slow down and limit myself.

Going with the flow is great in some situations. It is a rule of thumb I use when driving all the time, but I feel that too often we are expected to move with everyone else instead of pushing forward on our own and stepping out of our comfort zone. In this case I could have slowed my pace to stayed behind these two groups of people, and then my legs would be slightly less sore and it would have taken me a little longer. But how would that do anything to make me stronger?

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

What if…

Lately the “what if” game is playing strongly thought my head. What if I never get married? What if I never have kids? What if this and what if that. I find the things that terrified me in my early 20’s no longer seem so scary. Maybe the white picket fence and two and a half kids is not what my future holds, but that does not mean I think I would be lacking anything.

Everything that happened to me gave me a unique opportunity to look at my life from a new perspective. I think I am finally getting to a place that I can the bigger picture. The lines are still blurry and I can honestly say I still have no clue where this path leads, but that is getting less and less scary. I have learned a lesson and continue to grow stronger from it. I am sure that my life will be filled with countless “what if” questions, and maybe someday I will get answers to a few of them. Until then I will continue wondering, growing and moving forward.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

A combination.

Something about today was strange. It might have been more of a combination of things than one single oddity, but it was there none the less. This heat has set a different kind of tone over everything and I have mixed feeling about my time off. As excited as I am about my plans, and to have a whole week of no work I am still wary of too much time outside of my normal routine. Last year I avoided long stretches of vacation after my February time off went upside down. I know this week off will not be the same, but a part of my brain goes there whether I want it to or not. There are times I really wish I could turn off some memories so I could enjoy the moment without worrying about the past.

Tomorrow is the first Monday in far too long that my alarm will not go off at 5:30 in the morning. Hopefully it will be the first of many amazing things in my vacation adventure. I will do my best to focus on each good thing and leave my fears behind.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.