End of the “Summer”

September 8, 2016

For me 9/2 may be the end of summer but for me it is the start. 

Since late February or early March the pools I frequent daily have been flooded with oblivious kids, transients, and people who stand in the water without moving and complain how cold it is.

Since school started and football games are on attendence is way lower and its great. I will not get tired of hearing lifeguards blowing their whistles saying “no running” “floats are only allowed on this or that end of the pool” “no gainers”   etc. Those are the most frequent I hear from the guards.

.I will not miss from the summer people “It is freezing” and their bluetooth speakers, huge Johnny Manziel swan blow up floaties, bascially everything else they do too. 

I will miss their conversations I ease drop on after I swim and am laying out about “Oh Bro I am so hungover. How you feeling?” Well, maybe..yes I won’t miss that. The coeds for sure although they tend to come more that not as many people are going. 

Basically now until February is the regulars time. Sept – Nov more so where Dec – Jan its sporatic. Now I can do laps and not play frogger. 

In a few months I will be ready for the people to come back though. Hey not many places have a nine month summer or for some of us a twelve month summer.  

Dystonia Doesn’t Slow Me

August 11, 2015

In July, NPR published an article saying despite the 25th anniversary of the ADA, more than 1 in 5 people with disabilities are unemployed. Why Disability And Poverty Still Go Hand In Hand 25 Years After Landmark Law 

That being said, I think the general population look at those with disabilities in a diffferent light especially those with visable conditions. Its kind of like they expect you to be unemployed and just have the ability to do nothing. 

During college, I began running and racing long distance and continued after college. I did it because not only did I enjoy it but also to show people that despite my disability I was able to do exactly what they can and faster in some cases. 

After races random people would come up and say things like “I am so impressed you ran that” or something to the effect they were surprised that I was able to run x distance. 

It was annoying. I got tired of racing and the thousands of people so I started just running long distance where everyone runs. I became a familiar face among the people on the trail and people began respecting what I could do instead of breaking their misconceptions. 

A few years ago, I started frequenting the numerous city pools over a summer and I slowly transitioned from being a runner to a swimmer…year around outside. 

The swmming community here is much older than the running community and once you are a regular at a few places people know who I am. I mean, I am pretty easy to recognise.

 I have not ever seen a person with a disability doing laps in my few years of swimming and I go 7 days a week but when I ran I would sometimes see someone with a physcial disability. 

Despite my familiar face people that I know bring up their surgeries that they have had. I guess it is their way to connect to me indirectly without asking me about what I have. Or I will overhear people talking as I am doing my laps. They say he does x miles a day everyday. Nothing negative its always positive. 

So, I think that by showing people I am able to do what I do despite my limitations it is hopefully breaking the sterotype. 

Living the Dream?

September 5, 2014

Sometimes when I am around a big group of people and say two people are talking and one person says to the other what have you been up to? The other person says sometimes “just living the dream.” The phrase was made popular from the 90’s movie Dazed and Confused about some recent high school graduates and a much older graduate who used the phrase.

I know for a fact that I am not “living the dream” and I am pretty sure most of the people using that saying are like the guy in the video.

While I enjoy where I live and what it offers it isn’t exactly where I thought I would be at this point in my life and honestly, I never really thought much about it. I don’t think I ever had a dream job or something that I wanted to do. Maybe I did? Maybe it has been forgotten All I remember is enjoying writing and well I still do that so I guess I am living the dream?

 

Money For Nothing…

August 20, 2014

Americans (myself included) are obsessed with all American professional sports. Whether it is a fantasy team or just because we enjoy watching it we make the 20 somethings who play out to be bigger than life.

The MLB, NBA, NFL, etc are billion dollar industries and in each sport when a champion is deemed “world champions” but the rest of the world doesn’t play the sport on a equal level that we do. The one world sport we participate in we are 0-10 in World Cups.

We think nothing about four or five year 100 plus million dollar contracts with ten’s of millions guaranteed. It is a joke to what they are paid and what we pay to see “professional” athletes play a game.

I don’t keep time but five minutes until the next hour all the recreational swimmers have to get out for five minutes. I am able to always do between 3.5 and 3 laps in that 5 minute time. Generally speaking I am very consistent just going off the break times. I do a mile in 40-45 minutes and a mile and a half in around an hour. I will do at least 7 miles a week. If I am taking a day off I will do extra. The most I have done is 8 miles in 7 days. A mile is 26 laps.

I have been involved in sports..well, for a long time. I guess it started with running and I slowly built up my endurance and speed. I began doing races and by 2000 I did my first half marathon, the following year I did the same race.

I soon realized it wasn’t the race I enjoyed – it was the challenge to meet and exceed personal goals. I hated and still hate racing. Its more of a dog and pony show for me.

Up until this last year, I ran over a thousand miles a year.

Last summer, I started frequenting city pools and several of these pools are lap pools so slowly I got into swimming laps. So, much like running, I started off slowly. I was barely being able to do one length much less a lap but I enjoyed it so I kept at it.

Now, months later, I have two kick boards, I am on my third pair of fins and have built up my endurance to six plus days a week and today I passed my distance record – 5 miles in six days.

When I tell people I have done x distance swimming and they are like “ok” I think they think its like running/walking distance. Swimming distance is much different. Imagine swimming four 400m laps..like around a track. Much different.

Anyway, back to my running, at races and when I would run, people would say basically keep doing what you are doing you motivate me. The same thing has happened with swimming too.

I mean I guess if I motivate people by doing what I do then it is a success on my part. I like showing people that despite my physical stuff I am able to do whatever I set out to do.

Its strange how in Texas the racing season is from Oct to Feb or maybe a little longer. I mean we embrace the heat and despise the cold. Numerous times this winter the schools have closed not becasue of snow or ice but becase it was too cold. It does not make sense to have nothing during the summer..but I am not big racer anyway.

I started started swimming last March but not that consistantly until people stopped laying out..so October? Anyway, I was running and then after the run I would swim a few laps. I found out I liked swimming and as it got cooler, I started swimming more and running less.

The races that I would have done were much like the weather in Texas. In November the day of the San Antonio marathon it was freezing and this weekend is the Austin Marathon and the high is supposed to be close to 80.

Last year, SA was warm and Austin was cool.

That being said, I am glad I have learned to enjoy something new.

No “Good” Radio

February 4, 2014

I hear stats like everyday 75 to over a hundred people move here daily but the two sports talk radio stations that are here are bad..I mean really bad. They have no real content. They just talk about the same thing over and over: the new coach and what he is going to do. Stop. They might think they know what he may do but he is unproven. Maybe talk about the basketball team if you must talk Texas all the time? I only listen to local radio in the car. Thanks to the internet I can listen to far better stations.

With the influx for people I would think they would want to cater to all people..especially the new people.

Swimming, Running, etc

November 17, 2013

This past summer I got into going to city ran pools. Two are fed by a natural aquifer and the temperature is always between 68 and 72 degrees. One is a lap pool 33 meters in length and has lanes with a concrete bottom. Its called Deep Eddy. The other is over 300 meters in length and it has a natural bottom. Its a cool place to go during the spring-fall. It has large hills and lots of areas for laying out. Its called Barton Springs Pool.

I recently found another pool that is heated by a hot spring. It has lanes and its concrete. Its chlorinated though so when they use more heat, they use more chlorine. Its called Big Stacy Pool.

All three of these pools are at most 5 miles away from me and are open year around. If they charge to swim it is only three dollars and it is only at Deep Eddy and Barton Springs but from the end of November to April its free. Big Stacy is always free.

I still run every other day too. Sometimes I’ll do a couple laps after I run or I will go on an off day from running. I’m not really too concerned about doing x miles a week. Now its more like I want to do x miles because I do.

I am kind of fond of the cooler untreated water.

Its pretty cool that Austin has a lot of athletic things to do for not much or any money.

I am a big sports fan and follow all of the major sports (nfl, mlb, and nba) and the last several years former NFL athletes have filed a huge lawsuit against the NFL because of post NFL head trauma and the NFL agreed to settle. Really? I mean they likely have been running their heads into others heads from grade school. What do you expect?

They get paid more money a game than most people make a year or multiple years. It just baffles me how they feel they are justified money.

It is fun to watch but I mean come on.