Today is the day before my 54th birthday. I was in the pool this weekend, completely sore and tired from working on the kitchen and from the swimming miles. I had a goal that I “had to” make it to 60 laps that day. (that’s just over 1.5 miles and it takes me about 80 minutes). As I got past the first mile, I was feeling very achy and tired. I wondered how I would make it to the goal for the day.
My goal is to finish this swim by December 18, the day that Katie hurt herself. I have this goal for a few reasons. First, the symbolism is obvious. Secondly, I want to have a gigantic finish line party to celebrate with everyone and have sort of a “tote board” that day to collect donations, watch the tote board increase ala Jerry Lewis, and maybe have raffle items, silent auction, and food to collect extra money to “kick it in at the end”, kind of like a swimming race. Thirdly, I want to do this before the holidays so that my friends and family can arrange their schedules accordingly (NOTE: you have been forewarned!! haha!) Watch for an announcement likely in November as I will have a target date for completion of this little project.
Because I have a finish target date of mid-December, I realized this week that I need to increase the distance of each swim now, and I need to swim 5 days per week. This is going to mean at least 80 to 90 minutes in the pool, 5 days per week. I commute to work an hour each way at this point. We are still remodeling and at the point I was thinking about this, I was exhausted. It led me to reflect on how this swimming, with a pacemaker, is somewhat a microcosm of someone living with mental illness. I am living through a season of this swim where it is going to get much, much harder. Colder weather is coming and I am going to have to still go to the gym almost every day and get into that water and “pound it out”. There are ebbs and flows of mental illness, but you just can’t give up. You need to reach down into the depths and know that things will get better. “This too shall pass”. When it is tough, you phone a friend. You pray. You listen to music on your MP3 player. But, you DON’T GIVE UP. You just keep swimming.
I so wish she would have. I miss her so much.