30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 19- Just Keep Swimming

I considered taking the day off from Experience Nature to talk about my adventures in dental care, but I did have a chance to get outdoors today, and I want to focus on that.

Knowing I wouldn’t have the chance to workout after my dental appointment (they bring out the big guns for me- lots of drugs, lots of needles, lots of drilling), I went early to Pilates and then for a longer swim in Goss Lake. 

I’m swimming more frequently for a couple reasons. My shoulder and knees are still acting wonky. My knees not nearly as bad as my shoulder. I tweaked it way back in November, got a cortisone shot, and now it’s worn off. So, basically, back to the pain I had before I got the shot. I’ve been using the cannabis oil tincture on my knees, and it seems to be working pretty good. I don’t notice any difference on my shoulder. Lifting weights, and doing lots of different movements only seems to agitate my shoulder, and sometimes bothers my knees. Even Pilates is pushing it a little with my aches and pains. But swimming? Doesn’t bother me a bit. So, if I’m looking to do some cardio workouts, and my normal workouts are aggravating injuries, then swimming is the way to go.

Another reason I’m swimming more is I’m training for the Whidbey Island Triathlon the end of July. “But PJ, you said your knees and shoulder hurt, are you going to do the crazy biking and running, too?” No. That’s what my teammates are for. Philip is an AVID cyclist with the fastest bike and the fastest times on the island. Sam runs 6 or 7 minute miles. Repeatedly. 

All I have to do is get down to a 12-13 minute 1/2 mile swim, and we will be not just the fastest relay, but the fastest course time ever. But last year I didn’t even break 15 minutes. I don’t know what happened, but I felt like I choked in the water (not literally, I would have drowned). I’m bound and determined not to let that happen this year, so I’m swimming. As much and as often as I can.

I have a schedule (YAY! LISTS!) for my swimming days, and it allows me to swim 4-5 days each week. I also have a schedule for when and how to up my progression to work up to a 12 minute 1/2 mile. My first week I would swim out as far as I felt comfortable (some days I was the only person at the lake- it’s an eerie feeling to be alone in the water, where no one can hear you if you scream for help), and then try to swim the entire way back without stopping, or the course of one full song on my aqua iPod.

My progression was going to have me increasing duration (by measure of songs) where I swam non-stop and then progress my intensity during songs by swimming fast for one song, then 2 songs, and finally giving my all for 3 songs. It works out if I continue on this schedule to have me full on Beast Mode for 3 songs the last week before the Triathlon.

But then today, I went swimming with two other ladies. We just happened to get to Goss Lake at the same time. We all just happened to be going for a swim. We didn’t swim together, though. Me, with my agenda and iPod went in one direction while the other two started swimming straight out in another. When I finished my set, I looked out and those ladies were swimming all the way to the other side of the lake!

What the? Why was I trying to figure out distance by a fracking song? Especially when some songs are 3 minutes and others are 5? I can easily figure out how far it is to swim clear across the lake. I can time myself better that way too. By the time the race rolls around and there are markers in the water, I will be more accustomed to swimming the distance rather than the guessing game I’m playing now.

So now I’ve updated my schedule.

  • Week 1 (this week)- Swim to other side and back. Three rest stops allowed. One on the way to other side, one at the other side, and the last one on the way back. Try to swim at least 2 consecutive songs on either trip without stopping.
  • Week 2-Swim all the way to other side without stopping, rest for at least one full song (hopefully a short one), and swim all the way back without stopping
  • Week 3- Swim all the way (there and back, like a hobbit) without stopping, any speed you like
  • Week 4- Swim all the way there with a speed of Fast for one song, recover/base pace for 2 songs. Rest on the other side, and then swim all the way back with same speed pace
  • Week 5- All the way. Swim one song fast, two songs slow/recover
  • Week 6- RACE WEEK- All the way, maintain fast one song, recover one song.

6 weeks until the Triathlon. 6 weeks to make a commitment and possibly a habit of swimming when I am able to. It’s a great workout, easy on the joints, and keeps me connected to my Sacred Space.

Just keep swimming, and I’ll see you at the lake!

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 27- Least Reinforcing Scenario

Today I presented a class on Creativity for my writing group. While listening to the section on dealing with “trolls”, I was reminded of a powerful lesson I learned as a zookeeper in dealing with setbacks. To be truly successful and to maintain a positive mindset, you must deal with setbacks and mistakes with only a positive approach. In animal training, we typically use the Least Reinforcing Scenario. Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 27- Least Reinforcing Scenario

30 Days oF ZooFit: Day 24- Modify, Scale, Do What You Can

Over the weekend, while in Las Vegas, I did something to my neck. Slept on it wrong, didn’t gamble enough, whiplash from spending so much on booze and books at the auction. Who knows?

What I do know are two things. One, it hurts to jostle my neck around. Two, I still can do a workout. Continue reading 30 Days oF ZooFit: Day 24- Modify, Scale, Do What You Can

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 20- Watoto’s Rumble

I’ve often wondered how it would feel for someone to love me so much, they peed whenever they saw me.

This was how Bamboo, a fifty-year old Asian elephant, greeted her best friend, retired zookeeper Chuck, whenever he visited. She would squeal with excitement, and when she couldn’t contain herself anymore, Bamboo would relieve herself. It was a sight to see. Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 20- Watoto’s Rumble

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 19- Stay Positive

I’m having a little issue taking my own advice today. Stay positive. The difficulties getting into the published world of writing is becoming more and more clear. I know I have what it takes to stay the course, but I’m wondering if it’s worth it. Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 19- Stay Positive

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 18- Setting Myself Up for a Successful Writer’s Conference

Tonight, I am traveling to Las Vegas for a writer’s conference. This is my first writer’s conference, but not my first professional conference, or my first conference in Las Vegas either. Las Vegas may not be my first choice for a vacation, but I’m not going to look at sights for this trip. In fact, because I’m not much of a lemur or lizard (I don’t bask in the sun), I doubt I’ll step outside the conference rooms. Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 18- Setting Myself Up for a Successful Writer’s Conference

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 16- Double Workout, a Healthy Obsession

A few years ago, when I became serious about getting in shape, I was gung ho. I joined a gym, signed up for a weight loss challenge, and began a journey which would lead many friends (but mostly non-friends) to claim I was obsessed. Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 16- Double Workout, a Healthy Obsession

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 8- The Exceptions to the Rules

The animal training book Don’t Shoot the Dog is a must read for anyone wanting to change behavior. It doesn’t matter if the behavior you are wanting to change is your own, your pets, your kids’, or your spouse’s behavior. Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 8- The Exceptions to the Rules

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 7- Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Since developing the foundations of ZooFit, I am always looking for guinea pigs, er, I mean….no guinea pigs was right. I know ZooFit worked for me, but am I an anomaly? Do these principles translate to non-animal trainer folk? Can my methods of operant conditioning, shaping behavior, positive reinforcement, enrichment, and conservation all have the same benefits and impact as it did on me? Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 7- Get By With A Little Help From My Friends