This is a post I was meaning to write for a while. It was going to be the post of “where did my Summer go?” and then just about the time I got motivated enough to start typing, I was off again, and then I was down again.
The short story is that in mid-May my friend and good family friend Pat died. This was the most recent event in what has generally been a somewhat down year including dating a third year law student, breaking up with a third year law student, my Mom being sick, me having miscellaneous mystery ailments and a good dose of hypochondria, and this rainy swamp that passes for Summer around here and my everdamp and moldy basement. I’ve been okay but I haven’t been great. I’m usually great. I was exercising a lot, all the time, and I knew it was going wrong when I realized that I’d already swam a mile, my third or fourth that week saying to myself “gee, I don’t feel tired at all, how strange. I must be getting better at this…” but in fact, I was getting worse.
I torqued a few muscles including one chest-wall muscle that set off a “go get a mammogram!” scare and one groin-area muscle that I kept poking to make sure it wasn’t a swollen lymph node. I have a good doctor who set me up with a good physical therapist who has been my coach and companion in getting better. Meanwhile I’ve been out of the pool. I just started getting back in it last week.
I don’t think there’s been a week that I haven’t been travelling in at least 18 months where I haven’t been in the pool but this kept me out for a month, even a little more. I had gotten used to the release valve that was regular aggressive exercise and without it, things got a little discombobulated. I got depressed, anxious, moody. I slept well for the first time in a while but also too well. I had a hard time getting up and when I got up I didn’t feel truly awake. I didn’t feel sad or depressed, I just didn’t feel … anything. Wasn’t hungry, didn’t want to see friends, didn’t want to do anything. This lasted for weeks. As my body healed, so did my mind. I just started, over the past few weeks, feeling like myself again. I was in Seattle raring to go, and I got hit with a big Summer cold that flattened me out for a few days on a friend’s couch, but I managed to get my ass on to the plane and get home on schedule. Just gives me a good reason to go back to Seattle again.
So, it’s been an odd Summer. I feel like I’ve missed some of it. I’ve been doing a lot of the things I norally do, it’s just taken a lot more effort and seemed a lot less rewarding. I didn’t really want to say anything until I knew I was putting it at least somewhat behind me, which I think I am. I’m now solidly behind in my quest to swim the length of Lake Champlain and I haven’t decided yet whether to give myself a break and add a month on to the end of the challenge or just push hard once I think I’m ready for it.
Thanks to everyone who has given me maybe a little more slack than usual. I have a hard time admitting that maybe I can’t do everything and this has been a pretty humbling experience. I’m typing this up after getting off the redeye flight back from Seattle this morning. I’m just waiting until it gets a little darker and then I’ll be sleeping the sleep of the newly returned home, coupled with the rest of the “yay I’ve got my brain back.” Welcome back brain, I missed you.
Here are some photos from Seattle. I didn’t get out as much as I’d wanted, but I still saw some nice stuff.