Swim, Bike, Run, Mom. Yes, Me.

I bought this book a few months ago and last night I picked it up again. It’s by Meredith Atwood and its called “Triathlon for the Every Woman: You Can Be A Triathlete. Yes. You.” Kona triathlete Bree Wee wrote a preface (she’s my mini hero, tiny and fast and funny), as did Chrissy Wellington, triathlete extraordinaire. And since I’ve been doing a few triathlons over the last couple of years, and still feeling like the fat old lady out there, I thought getting an autographed copy from Meredith might inspire me. I LIKED her Swim Bike Mom Facebook page, and I recommend you do the same if you’re a woman toying with the idea of loving yourself through the pain of swimming, riding bicycle, and running, without stopping, until you’re through and it’s dark and you’re not quite sure there’s anything left inside your mind or your cells or your feet.

That could be me. I’m doing the Honu Half-Ironman in Kona on June 1.

Because I’m so busy and so exhausted and so frazzed all the time, I skip around when I pick the book up. I know, I’m sorry, Meredith. I’m doing what I can! Last night while waiting for Kid1 while she was in her viola lesson, I sat in the van and read the chapter about nutrition. And a lot of it was about the SCALE. The. DREADED. SCALE. Meredith talks about how that mofo drives her up the wall. She spoke of disconnecting from the scale, and she addressed the input she got from others of how they couldn’t give up the scale.

This morning, I wish I had not gotten on the scale. But I did, and I’m pretty sure there’s a dark and gray cloud hovering over me now.

Why did I get on the scale? Well, for the last three weeks I’ve eliminated white flour. I’ve made whole-wheat thin pizza crusts, whole-wheat, home-made pasta, ate more fruit and veggies than ever, cut back on sweetened coffee, and even drank less wine (ME!). My waist looked a little thinner this morning. The fat pants slid on and had room. But I’m still in fat pants. So I got on the scale. And I could have cried.

But let’s put it this way: My fat pants have always been the same size: 12. I really like being a size 10, and that can’t be too hard to get back down to. When I weighed 30 pounds less I wore a size 12. You see how weird this is? To weigh tons more and still get to say fat pants are size 12? And give me this: I’m 54 and my body has been sticking its toe in the menopause pool for two years now. I think I’m in the middle of it, or getting through it now, but you can never be sure. It has thickened my waist. I cannot stand it. I have friends, fellow women triathletes, who are older than me and have slimmed down. I’m hopeful.

On March 12 I begin Honu training with my TryFitness sisters. We’ll meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Sundays. Kid1&2 can’t wait! Mom will be working out and maybe start feeling better about herself again. I know my husband likes the after effects of a wife who’s worked out. He’s looking forward to getting his happy wife back.

I’m a little terrified about the Honu. Last Saturday I was in the Haleiwa Sprint Triathlon. While swimming among the thrash of other swimmers, I thought how much I hated it. But I knew I had to get through it, and so I incorporated some of the training Joe and Tom Lileikis taught me during Masters swimming at The Oahu Club: I moved my arms up and down along my body, keeping them close, avoiding connecting with the other swimmers, it worked and I moved efficiently through the water. Despite the dizziness as I emerged, my swim time was pretty good. I knew that once I was on my bicycle I could get a jump on how slow my run would be. My leg problems (healed burst tendon, knee pain, swelling, excess fluid, and now plantar fasciitis in the other foot) are a bit of a pain to work out. My sports doctor says I should just stop running, but he says it’s OK with him if I do triathlons because it’s not all running.

About those fat pants: Surely, the new eating habits will pay off, right? I can’t give up.

My First Waikiki Roughwater Swim


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Labor Day weekend was full of pain for me, but it was also full of joy. The Ride: Joy. On Saturday I joined my TryFitness Hawaii Na Wahine Festival training group for our 2-3 hour workout. It was primarily a … Continue reading

Get in the Pool


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#postaday (well, sorta). When I get home from work on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I immediately put on my swim suit, tell my girls to fend for themselves for dinner, and take a nap. Then I go to The Oahu Club … Continue reading

It’s All Dread.


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@postaday 293; #postaday2011. When I get home from work on Thursdays, pulling up to the house in the van with Kid1&2, I am worn out, frazzed, cranky, and longing for wino’clock. For the last couple of Thursdays, I had succumbed … Continue reading

Swimming through a mid-life crisis?

@postaday 153; #postaday2011.

Some of  you probably figured out that I’ve taken up swimming again. Some of my friends have only known me soaking wet in a bathing suit since I was a 4-year-old watermelon blowing bubbles in the shallow end with my eyes open, while Mr. Lytle achieved the amazing: taught us all how to swim without getting wet himself. He even wore shoes instead of flipflops! How many of us Riverdel Swim Club kids were sufficiently waterproofed at a tender age? Countless.

Like riding a bicycle and learning to type, being able to swim is what I consider another of life’s essential survival skills. In fact, it surprises me how many people I know, who grew up in Hawaii, do not know how to swim. We’re surrounded by water, folks! What gives? Thanks to learning to swim at an early age, being on the swim team for 10 years, working as a lifeguard, keeping my lifeguard certification active until I was certain I wouldn’t need it anymore, I’ve always been comfortable in the ocean or a pool. Believe it or not, I cannot stand being in lakes or ponds. Not enough refreshing motion.

Later today is my doctor appointment for my left arm. Yesterday’s x-rays determined there is no fracture in my humerus. Something is hurting, but it isn’t that. Tonight I’ll attend my first freestyle clinic with Joe Lileikis at The Oahu Club. For years I’ve watched him coach people of all ages, helping them improve their strokes and improve their times. I want to swim more efficiently. I’d like to be faster. So I think Joe will help me identify habits that keep me from achieving those goals, and help me be a better swimmer.

Last night, while doing my 1,000 meters of mindless motion, my thoughts, as usual, wandered. I’m preparing for a competition in September. I’d like to not be embarrassingly dorky. I’d like to not be embarrassingly jiggly.  I’d like to not finish last. I’d like to finish with a respectable time. I’d like to finish well in my age group.

Then, about lap six or seven, it hit me. Am I going through a mid-life crisis? Is this my last grasp at the greased rope of youth, trying to stay healthy, to be as fit as women 10 or 20 years younger than me, to not be an old sack of skin fading toward the end of life’s conveyor belt? Probably. Is a mid-life crisis limited to worrying about sexual prowess, having the most toys or the most Botox injections? Gawd, I hope not. Hellas if I’m going gently into a passive age-appropriate existence and saying good night! Get a grip. I feel like my biggest hit is yet to occur. I’m not even close to my zenith.

And, yes, you can expect that when I get to it, I’ll own it, write it up and send that missive sailing into virtual space, words for worlds beyond my own.