Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Lake swims

The post below this "Caught on camera" I left up for quite a long time. Longer than I normally would. I've read it every other day, trying to devise a plan for future panic attacks.

I have a race in June, my first lake swim race ever. And I'm scared, actually I'm terrified. Of what some may ask, it's just a lake? I'm afraid of what I can see and what I can't see. I'm afraid of weeds and things touching me. I'm afraid of people swimming into or too close to me. I'm afraid of failing, again. Lake swims last year were a mess and I stopped going. In a nutshell everything about swimming a race in the lake scares the ever loving bejezzus out of me.

But, heres the trump card.

I know I can do it.

My pool workouts average 1500 m to 2000 m, the 750 m race distance I can do. Weeds don't bite, weeds I can do. Nothing life threatening lives in that lake, things touching me I can do. I'll stay to the back and swim alone, so people swimming over or to close to me I can do. I'm not going to fail, no matter how long it takes, no matter if I have to do the dog paddle I will finish.

I can do this. My plan is to own being afraid. It's ok to be afraid. But I can do this, there is nothing life threatening. I have a wetsuit, I can float and I CAN just keep swimming.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Caught on camera

Sunday I did the Tri for MS for the second time. it's an event run by my triathlon group, and it is a whole lot of fun! Lots of friends cheering each other on and a very supportive group.

I was calm the night before and calm the morning of. The swim was 500 M something I do for a warm up in my swim workouts now. it should have been simple, easy and fun.

I started my swim out relaxed and calm, did two laps in a normal pace and started to settle in. I got passed once and did one more lap calm and relaxed. About 3 laps in within about 10 seconds I went from calm to a full on panic attack. My heart rate shoots through the roof, I start to hyperventilate and my body is pretty sure I'm going to drown. Even though I know otherwise it spirals up and out of control.




Panic Attack

The picture above a good friend (Peter Dunwoody) caught on camera me, mid panic attack. While this photo brings a bucket load of tears forward it may also be one of my favourites. It catches me in a moment I cannot control. My brain at this time was probably screaming at me "GET OUT! getoutgetoutgetout!" But this time I managed to stay. I flailed, gasped, gulped and finally caved and took a kick board. Feeling defeated and disappointed I finished the 500 M. I did manage to let go of the kick board the last 100 M but for me it was not my shining moment. Seeing that in a picture brings it all up close and personal.

I'd like to think I am a fairly strong person who can handle just about anything. Heck, I rode and broke some rank horses in my younger years, I snow mobile, I drag race and I'd like to think there are few things I won't try.

But swimming, boy it can scare me.

I have no epic words of wisdom. My advise would be to take small steps forward if you are trying to manage panic attacks. Plan for the un expected, they can happen at any time. I think the biggest thing I learnt sunday was to get help if you need it. 

A panic attack in the pool has not happened for about a year. This one came on faster than most. I did finish my swim. It took about 15 KM of the bike course before my heart rate came down and I stopped gasping for air. My bike was solid though. My run was good! I managed a few speed pick ups and felt strong during the whole run. I think the practice bricks my coach had me do really helped my run, my legs felt good right off the bike.

I finished the day happy with my race but un happy with my swim. My next step to tackle them is to learn a good breast stroke, during a panic attack it may allow me to sight and breathe easier. So onward to Plan B, learn the breast stroke.

My day finished with smiles amongst friends in the sunshine. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Closet clean out

Yes that, I hate to admit it, is my closet. You cannot see the floor, I cannot find anything and my work out backpack is constantly in the way.

I've decide to try a "capsule wardrobe" of sorts. This blog makes it simple and fairly easy. The Un Fancy blog shows simple outfits that are cute and still look comfortable. Right up my alley. But first to tackle the closet.

First I took everything out, and I do mean everything. I had NO idea how much I had in there. I have about 12 pairs of expensive wrangler jeans that will never fit me again. Along with 2 garbage bags of clothes that either do not fit or are stained. 

I was brutally honest, if they didn't fit they got tossed in the donations bag. I allowed myself two "attachment" pieces that I couldn't part with. The sweater on the left I got at a rodeo in Montana forever ago, and I love it. It's a bit itchy but it's warm and fun. The shirt on the right is a hand painted leather shirt I got in Vegas after winning s few thousand at black jack! It fits and now that I can get to it again I'll wear it.

I pared down to this. I can see the floor, kept clothes that fit or I love and my gear bag fits out of the way now. It was hard but I think well worth it.

I live by this!