January 2013

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A few observations

Posted by Kevin Doak on Tuesday at: 2:27pm (January 8th, 2013)

Today I'm heading to the pool for the (sort of) first time in exactly 5 months.

I've been in the water twice in that 5 months.  Once with a masters group at Fuller, and once at EMU after helping the team.  I've enjoyed my time off.  My daily schedule is infinitely more relaxed and earning money seems effortless in comparison to trying to work while training twice a day.

I'm ready for a change.  In many conversations with varied topics, I've used the phrase "we make time for the things that are important to us".  It is absolute truth as far as I'm concerned.  Nobody "has time" to go to work, go on vacation or work out.  We all MAKE that time in our schedules.  The life choices and uncontrolled circumstances place barriers in our way from time to time but I don't think there is a person in this country that can't make an hour in their schedule per day for exercise of some type whether it's in your living room or in a pool.  Today I will make time to get in the water.

Over the course of the five months, I've almost entirely abandoned exercise.  I'm not proud of that fact at all.  In no way did I actively avoid exercising, in fact I've been active in my job and my hobbies.  Yet none of it especially raised my heart rate.  The results of this massive change in lifestyle have culminated in numerous negative aspects of my life.  Initially I was noticing a change in how I felt running up stairs in my home.  I found a brief sprint up a flight of stairs left me slightly winded.  Next, the weight gain.  A mere 45 days after my last swim meet, I stepped on a scale to see 188 lbs!  A full 20 pound weight gain over my Olympic Trials 168.  The weight gain initially wasn't that apparent.  My stomach looked about the same and I hadn't lost much definition in my muscles.  Fast forward a few months and although I'm smiling while writing this, my body self image has plummeted!  I was recently in a bathing suit and I commented that for the first time in memory, I didn't feel good being in front of other people looking the way I did.  It was something I had never felt before and because of that, it interested me.  I found myself eager to write about my experience.  I've spent my life in the mindset of "well I don't look good, but I'm not embarassed either".  It was a comfortable middle-of-the-road type feeling.  I've never turned any heads (I'm a realist), but I was fairly confident nobody ever looked at me and throught "...gross".  I'm not at the gross stage just yet but it's time to take action for three reasons:

  1. I miss the water
  2. I want to feel good about myself 
  3. I want to be healthier

It's time to make make those things happen.  I'm happy to begin this change!