Tag: goals

GSL 2014

Another amazing open water swim race has come and gone.  Honestly I’m so exhausted I don’t know how much I can write but I will do my best.

I’ve often said I race partly for my swim family, partly for nature, partly for fitness but mostly for life.  Every swim teaches me something profound about life and this was no exception.

Here I am before the race:

before raceI was really nervous as I always am.  Great Salt Lake is so unpredictable and my last 2 years have been very tough for me, even 2012 when I was so well prepared was a beast. Both of those years there was wind advisories and the races were nearly cancelled.  I was praying so hard that we would get smooth water for once…

And my prayer was answered. Smooth water!

When you enter the Great Salt Lake it is like no other experience I can describe.  Your whole body screams with all the salt.  Your tongue swells up, your nose burns, and any soft skin let’s you know quickly it doesn’t like it.  All this adds to the challenge.

But luckily I decided to go for it and this year my friend Anna came with and she did amazing! A lot of my other friends weren’t in town or didn’t swim for one reason or another.  In fact, it looked like over half the swimmers were new to GSL.  There was one group from California that flew in for the race.  They go to races as friends all over the country.  How fun is that!

So they started the race in an odd way.  We had to climb over all these rocks and I had flip-flop sandles on.  I felt like I was going to slip and break my ankle.  It was kind of nuts.

Here I am trying to get down to the start:

DSCF5601Then the race started and within the first 5 minutes all the sudden my whole right side cramped up.  I felt like I could hardly move.  It seemed like I would have to pull out with that much pain so early on.

Luckily there was an awesome kayaker who helped me calm down and encouraged me to try another stroke so breaststroke it was. It seemed to strain my side less and after about 3 sets of 100 the cramp was mostly gone. (I count strokes in batches of 100)

I was still doing a lot of breaststroke but then worked in 100s of freestyle and even got a 150 in.  It was so shallow that it was hard to do a freestyle stroke for a lot of the race.

There’s me in all that water. Surrounded by nature and all that water.  It will never get old.  So beautiful!:

S0015609See how close the kayaker was?  He was a lifesaver and was so encouraging.

I also decided to not worry about sighting and just swim.  The current was very light so I didn’t have to worry about getting pulled inward like I did last year. I was confident enough in the kayaker that I knew I could just swim.  With my lazy eye sighting is not my strength but it’s especially hard at GSL because there are no trees or big objects to sight on so it’s sort of a fruitless enterprise.  I’m glad I abandoned it all together.

So, I kept going in batches of 100 strokes.  Another one and then rest 20 seconds, and another.  Finally I got to the spot to run in and it was probably 200 yards.  I actually speed walked because I was worried about turning my ankle on that type of rocky/sandy beach. (Plus I was exhausted).

Eat your heart out Bo Derek! 🙂

DSCF5621Here’s the crazy thing- cramp, stops, breaststroke and all I finished in 1 hr 4 minutes.  Last year it took me 1 hr 23 minutes!  Almost 20 minute faster this year!  I still can’t believe that!

It just goes to show a lot of obstacles can be in your way at the beginning of your goal but if you keep going, do 100 more, and then another, and another, you will finish.  Like I said, swimming teaches me about life. And what a perfect lesson to learn this week starting a new job for new company, doing something new!

I will never forget crossing the line and knowing I did it!  Cramp and all I did it! Please take my story and set a bold goal.  People of all shapes and sizes can do awesome things.

Thank you to the organizers, kayakers and my friends for cheering me on both at the race and away. I might not have done the race at all if it wasn’t for all the wonderful encouragement.

It feels good to be Rachel today!

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A brick of salt for a salty race. Love this photo
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My awesome kayaker. Such great support
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Anna did amazing. 35 minutes first GSL/open water race!
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We did it! I love my open water family

A 3 AM Introduction

(Started this last night.  Now some of you are seeing the guest post I thought you might like to learn a little more about me)

Awake
Awake

Ok.  So its 2:33 but it will probably be 3 by the time I am done writing this.  It helped me to get to sleep yesterday to write so I thought maybe it would do the same today.  What do you have to lose?

So today sometime my guest post will be added to http://littleferrarokitchen.com/ and I’m pretty excited.  It will be fun to open myself to a new audience, and I’m super proud with how it turned out! I thought on the off chance that people check out my blog from reading the post on her blog I would take some time and introduce myself.

First of all, I have been blogging for going on 6 years and I’ve done over 748 posts on everything from recipes I like to religion, to movies. When I was a little girl my sister and I would make newspapers that covered politics, movies, and current events.  We even drew comics for them.

I am currently working on the nanowrimo challenge and almost done!  I am also a homeowner and social media purveyor as they like to say.  You can follow me on  instagram and twitter at @smilingldsgirl.  Please introduce yourself to me.  Let’s be friends.

I have bolded any links below so if you want to learn more about a particular topic click on it and read a post.  Share your feedback.  Thanks for reading!

So here is the 411 on Rachel

  1. What’s your name?  Rachel Wagner
  2. How do you spend your days? I work as an accounting clerk for Poler at www.polerstuff.com
  3. Have you always lived in Utah? Nope.  I grew up in Maryland, but have also lived in Indiana and California.  I’ve lived in Utah for most of my adult life.
  4. What are some of your hobbies? I love open water swimming (7 races done!), blogging, writing, reading, party planning , movies and subscription boxes!
  5. What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? That’s a tough one.  There was a time on my mission when we had worked so hard in the bitter cold and the RS Pres made us breakfast for dinner with hot cocoa.  It was like gold.
    Another meal that comes to mind is when I made spaghetti and meatballs for my friends in 2013 and decided I needed to make some major changes in my life because the food was so good.  No joke
  6. If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go? Hawaii.  Always Hawaii. North Shore. Oahu.
  7. What’s the best gift you’ve ever given? I’m a pretty good gift giver but this was one of my best. Also last year I got my Dad Lord of the Rings in German and he really loved it.  When my sister got engaged I made her a cookbook of all the recipes I’d made for her when we were roommies.  She still has it uses it so that was a good one
  8. And what’s the best gift you’ve ever received?   I’d have to say on my mission I had a companion from the Philippians and she didn’t have a ton of money.  My parents sent us a tiny Christmas tree in the mail and gifts for both of us.
  9. What ability or skill do you most wish you had (that you don’t have already)? I’m an ok singer.  I wish I was a great singer
  10. What is/was your favorite subject in school?  In high school it might have been drama.  In college definitely political philosophy.
  11. What’s the biggest problem facing the world right now?  So many…the secularization of schools and the distancing of overall life from religion.  More detailed thoughts on politics and such can be seen at- interview 1, interview 2, interview 3
  12. If you alone could solve it, how would you do it? Be a missionary forever!
  13. What’s your dream job?  Teaching at BYU
  14. If you had to choose only one: cat or dog?  Neither but if I had to chose I’d pick a small dog like a goldendoodle.  I have a bit of an animal phobia so that is never going to happen.
  15. What’s your favorite movie of all time?  So hard to pick just one but if I did I’d have to pick Up. My five favorite films
  16. Aside from food, water, and shelter, what one thing could you not go a day without?  Prayer (cheesy answer but its true!)
  17. In everyday life, what is your number one pet peeve? Talking to machines and giving them all this information than a human finally comes on the phone and you explain it all over to them.
  18. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Hey I have a 30 year mortgage so I’ll be in Draper.  I’d like to think I’d be married but probably not.  Probably just living here with tenants and a roommate and making the most out of my life.
  19. Where do you see yourself in 20 years?  30 years is more interesting because then I’ll be close to retiring and can be a missionary for my church for the rest of my life. That would be my dream if I don’t get married. .  20 years I will probably be doing the same thing I am doing now but hopefully still swimming and singing and blogging.  I can think of worst lives and you never know Mr.  Sunshine could finally make an appearance.

What do you want to know about me? Ask me some questions!

So that is a little intro.  I think I’m a pretty interesting person so check out the blog and get to know me a bit better.  Thanks!

rachel (10)

Swim Shutdown

So I have made a difficult decision.  I have decided to not swim Slam the Dam.  Here are the reasons:

1. I miss General Conference for my church.  I should have just abandoned the attempt in the first place because watching this live and tweeting during it has become a big part of my life.  I need the nourishment and its just not the same watching it backwards.

2.  Despite their best efforts I have not gelled well with the organizers and I’ll just leave it at that.

3.  My friend won’t be able to go so she will be driving me down just to watch me swim.

4.  The likelihood of my finishing was about 50/50 (being generous).  My best time in a 1 mile swim is 54 minutes which is cutting it very close to the hour time limit. I get why they needed to have it but it just wasn’t the best for my friend and I to have the time limit.

5. With the government shutdown looming and very likely the race would be cancelled anyway because they rely on the parks department for the permit and race.  I think the chance of everything being resolved by Saturday is very small.  One of the organizers said “If the government shuts down the park will be closed and no swim. It’s that simple.”  I think its very unlikely the race will go on at all.

6. I have gotten to the pool about 4 times in September.  With vacation, sickness, back treatments and everything else it just hasn’t been a great training month like August was

7. In the end, driving 7 hours to not finish or have it cancelled while missing Conference just didn’t seem worth it especially considering I don’t really have any friends going or who would be there to cheer me on.

8. My friend summarized why she wasn’t going and her outlook and I agree:

“I’ve also withdrawn, asking that my swag bag and hoodie be mailed to me. I still dont regret signing up. I had a goal to reach for, and though I fell just short of it, I succeeded in becoming a swimmer. I will take that as the lifetime win it is. And, this just means my first “official” swim will be a SLOW swim. I think I love that!”

9.  I will also be following the directions and repeated orders of the planning committee.  Today they reiterated that if you are “unwell, ill, injured or generally “off” from your normal self (whatever that means?)  or can not meet course cut offs times, please do not swim” .  I will respect their request and not swim, leave it at that.

10. All goals just don’t work out and I think there is a lesson in that.  This is the second year I’ve tried to do this swim and will be my last for a time.  It’s just too busy a time for me and has been too stressful for all involved.

Thank you to all the volunteers and my friends for your amazing support.  I love you all so much.  Swimming is after all just a hobby.  It needs to always be fun and the last month or so it hasn’t felt fun.  I’m going to work on that.  I know that I’m a good swimmer.  Not swimming Slam the Dam does not change that.  I know that it is all for the best.

Thank you especially to Tania for being my training buddy and becoming my cherished friend.  You are the best. (I feel like I’m giving an Oscar speech but its true).

Thanks you guys!

This is what its all about in the end.  Friends always
This is what its all about in the end. Friends always

Guys- it was cancelled in the end so I’m extra happy with my decision (and glad I made my own medals in advance!).  I am sorry for those hoping to swim that couldn’t.  Karma…

NO GOALS, NO RESOLUTIONS

Normally I am a huge goal setter.  I love having a plan and motivating myself to do better, be better.   As you all know my life has been overwhelmed lately with the building of my house and my move. So much so that I haven’t been able to eat well and my stomach has been continually upset.  I wish I could control this but I can’t.I’ve thrown up a lot, had nausea, sleep apnea, insomnia, stomach cramping, headaches and asthmatic episodes and I actually think I’ve handled it all pretty well for me….Sigh

So with this in mind I had an interesting experience yesterday. I met with my nutrition counselor on Saturday and she tried 3 times to get me to set goals- goals for the New Year, goals for the month, and then I think getting a little desperate, goals for the week.  I just couldn’t do it!  My brain couldn’t formulate one goal. Even as she asked me I felt my heart begin to race and my stomach churn. My whole body felt raw, wrung out and tired.  Really kind of numb… I just shook my head and said ‘I can’t do it.  I have no idea’. 

This is highly unusual for me but it was in fact a healthy choice for me to make. I’m kind of proud of myself.

I told her that I knew I was in a vulnerable spot and whatever goals I set would become obsessive for me.  I’m searching for things I can control and diet goals are something I could go way overboard in feeling I can control.  I just knew I had to step back and take it one day at a time.   It’s a good thing that I am getting to the point in my mental health where I can tell I am vulnerable and when I am not.  Right now I just need acceptance, congratulations and as much normality as possible.

No goals!  No resolutions!  Just survival!  I feel a little guilty even saying that but its true.  I need to coast for a month until I get in this darn house and then it will be back to the goal setting Rachel.

Does that make sense? I can only take so much and I also feel I need to savor the moment and be grateful for the blessings of so many changes.  It would be easy to distract myself from the fear of change with a diet rush or some other goal, obsess into that instead of dealing with all the new and absorbing it with fearlessness.

just-say-no-to-new-year-resolutions

So there you go.  No goals!  Just going to try and be happy to be me. 248072_10151332018897239_58777808_n

Officially a NaNoWriMo WINNER!

So its official I have completed the 30 day NaNoWriMo challenge!  Here is the certificate to prove it.  I’m really proud of my accomplishment.  I’m proud that I finally, however, incompetently put pen to paper and wrote my story.  I have thought of those experiences from 2007 over and over again and now they have been written down.  I look forward to editing, changing things around and making it as good as it get can be.  Then I am going to bind it and keep it as a prized possession.

In the meantime I am already thinking about what to write next year.  It is a lot harder because this was my one big idea.  I had practically written the book in my head a million times and had practiced many of the events on this blog.  I may not have that luxury the next time around.  I could do a sequel but that would’ t really be my life at all as the character gets married at the end and I clearly am not married. I think I will just have to find another way to write about God and the Workforce but in another set of characters. Hmmm…

Well, I thought since I am ‘finished’ meaning initial output done I’d give you one more snip-it of the book.  My friend Polly read it and she enjoyed it.  I hope you do as well.  This is a closing scene when the character has just had her last day at the job she is quitting.

Thank you in advance for your feedback.  It’s still in a rough state so please bare with me. Just enjoy some early, exciting, writing in its raw form.  Plus this is a pretty romantic section, so enjoy that!  I enjoyed writing it and can’t wait for it to happen to me in real life! 🙂

I have decided to be happy because My Life is God’s and He is happiness.

LEAVING

As I descend the stairs I feel like an astronaut who is  about to take the big step onto a new planet.  Each one feels important like a plaque should be put in that honor stating ‘Rachel took the leap of faith here”.

Sometimes I still wondered why God was asking me to do something so strange?  Quit my job with nothing to fall back into?  Who does that especially in this economy?  Evidently I do. I finally reach the bottom of the stairs and open the door.  With the fresh air my brain is flooded with thoughts but  I am drawn back to the scripture Jamie read to me the other day:

“That you may love the LORD your God, and that you may obey his voice, and that you may cleave unto him: for he is your life, and the length of your days: that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore unto your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them..”

“He is my life” I am putting it in His hands.  A rush adrenalin crawls up my spine and I feel ticklish all over.  It’s like happiness is bursting out of me from every pore.  Setting the box down for a minute I raise my hands high into the air and let out the loudest ‘Yes! I did it” I possibly can. For a moment I am dancing and I’m a terrible dancer!  The smile on my face is wide and a million pop ballads embracing freedom and adventure pop in my head.  That person they are singing about is me.  I’d done it.

In the middle of my revelries I feel a tap on my shoulder.  Looking around I see that it is Oliver and he gives me a huge hug.  “Congratulations.  I’m so proud of you for taking this big step”.

“I’ve never felt so great in all my life.  I did it!  The thing I didn’t think I could do for three years, I did!” I raise my arms to the sky one more time and let out a little ‘Hurray!’

“So what do you think you want to do with all your free time?” he asks

“Well, I’ll be looking for a job mostly but I have lots of projects like my college scrapbook to work on.  I would love to volunteer maybe go and tutor for Dr. Thomas for free.  That would be the best!  We will just see what life throws at me and where God wants me to be”.

All of the sudden his voice sounds a little nervous and I wonder why.  “What about doing some wedding planning?”

“Oh that could be a fun career” but before I can go on Oliver is on his knees in front of me with a ring.  It’s a princess cut ring small stoned ring with a the most beautiful platinum band”  I look at it and him with amazement.

“Will you marry me?” he asks

“Yes, of course, I will marry you!” I quickly reply and put the ring on my finger.  It seems to have always been there along with my necklace around my neck.

“Yes, yes, she said yes!” he says to nobody and we kiss but this is a kiss like never before.  Long (way past our 20 seconds), soft and tender and then rough and passionate.  I never want it to end. Without helping it I start to cry a little bit and put my head on his shoulder.

“What’s wrong he asks” hoping I haven’t had a change of heart.

“Now this is the BEST day of my life!” As I stood there with my head on Oliver’s shoulder I knew I would always look back on this moment as perfect.  Life would get hard again, I’d feel anxious and stressed, maybe even panic, but I would always have in my pocked that I had gotten through these 3 years.  I had learned to pay attention when God tells you to ‘make a change’ and that the more you fight Him the unhappier you will be.  I’ve learned that God has patience and he gives us far more blessings than we deserve, especially when we aren’t listening to him.  I’ve learned that diving into nothing is the greatest feeling a girl can have.   Most importantly I learned that my happiness matters to God, and that He really does love me.

Life is going to be good for Rachel Wagner former employee of Marshall Plastics.

“ka,ka,ka”  I hear and look around me on the top of the patio ledge is a crow getting ready to fly off into the distance. “ka,ka,ka”.  It rings in my head and I look at Oliver and smile.  He has work to do but I give him a sweet and simple kiss and then it gets longer and harder.  Perfect.

“Have a great day at work” I say with a wink and I hold onto his hand until it is just fingers and we finally let go.  “See you later tonight”.

As I get into my car, I let out a large long sigh.  “It is done.  Thank you God.  We did it!” Just as pull out of the parking lot the Clocktower ticks loudly and I push the gas pedal.  “Done and on my way to a new adventure”.

 

 

The Curse of the Should Be’s

Frequently I have people say to me ‘you are a great ______’ and then followed by ‘You should be a _______’.  Some different variations:

You are a great cook.  You should open up a restaurant.

You are a great writer. You should be an author.

Your blog is great.  You should do it full time.

Your state your opinion well.  You should be a political writer.

You should be an editor, lawyer, politician, speech writer, teacher, PHD, fiction and non-fiction author, event planner, singer, ect. (Ironically nobody has ever said ‘you would make a great mother…)

The sad part is they are all right.  There are so many dream jobs I have.  There are so many things I should be doing and would be genuinely good at, even brilliant, but how did I end up doing accounting?  Basically I took the first job that was offered to me after my mission and I ran with it.

In 2008 I tried to make a change and get something in marketing or event planning.  Something a little more creative and had no luck.  Its a tricky cycle you get into because you need experience to get most jobs and to get that experience you need experience.  So even if I went back to school my position really wouldn’t improve much because I’d still have the same experience.

I don’t mean to seem ungrateful because I’m not.  My job has tons of perks and it gives me a lifestyle I love. It’s just not what I envisioned for my life. I didn’t have some specific dream but I never thought I’d be an accounting clerk my whole life.

Now I’m buying a house and that makes it all the more difficult to make changes.  Sigh…

I guess a side of me feels like a sell out but I don’t know what else I could have done.  I took the only job offered to me. I get to work from home and have flexibility.  I’m pretty lucky in many ways.  Plus, I’m good at what I do. I work as hard as I can and have overall a nice life.

But always in the back of my head is that nagging question of all the things I could have been and done? Do any of you struggle with unfulfilled dreams? With what you have settled for in your life?  We all have to make compromises in order to live.  At least most of us do.   How do you reconcile your wishes with reality?

I know there are ways to contribute outside of my job, so I’m looking out for that right now. I think it is how I will have to do all the ‘should be’s’.
When did we decide that the only way to contribute to society was through your job or family?  There has to be other options for people like myself?   Got to start writing all those books and articles I dream about 🙂 .

Btw- thanks to everyone for all the encouragement.  It always makes my day!  I think my friends often see more potential in me than I do in myself.  In fact, I know they do. Thank goodness for great friends.

Dream Deferred

This will be an intentionally cryptic post.  Sometimes I wish I could be more forward than I am on my blog. I know I’m pretty forward but I honestly wish I could be even more so.   However, I try to only talk about myself and allow others to publicize their life if they chose to (which I highly recommend as it is thoroughly therapeutic.)  As the song says:

I am what I am
I am my own special creation
So come take a look
Give me the hook or the ovation
It’s my world that I want to have a little pride in
My world, and it’s not a place I have to hide in
Life’s not worth a darn ’til you can say
“Hey world, I am what I am!”
I am what I am
I don’t want praise
I don’t want pity
I bang my own drum Some think it’s noise I think it’s pretty
And so what if I love each sparkle and each bangle?
Why not try to see things from a different angle?
Your life is a sham ’til you can shout out loud: “I am what I am!”

(Btw, is there a better description of me than that song?)

As I was saying.  I was sitting alone at night lost in my thoughts, and I started thinking about a question asked to me by a friend when discussing a problem in my life.  She said ‘What do you hope for?’.  It’s such a simple question but so hard to answer.  What do any of us hope for?

The answer is simple and complicated at the same time.

I hope for an eternal family with a companion who loves me forever.

I hope to always have good friends. Friendship is hope.  Almost all the love I’ve had in my life has been from friends. I love that in the Greek language the word love is actually 4 different words, agape, philos, eros and storge.  Agape is especially moving as it means a love so great we would sacrifice all for it.  Fits with the scripture- greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).

I hope for a healthy body that can really be used to inspire other people.  I am healthy now but I know if I looked healthier to the average Joe I could do more good.  This motivates me to keep trying.

I dream of writing a book based on my life and my struggles.  My sister is the writer in the family but I have lots of ideas, both fiction and non-fiction that I think would be terrific books. Its starting and having the time to keep at it that keeps that dream deferred.

I dream of the ocean on a daily basis and can hear the wish, wish of the tide accompanying my life and keeping me calm.  I feel sad that this year will go buy without a glimpse of the ocean.  Someday I want to own a house near a beach.  Any beach.

I hope to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.   I think I do but I want to do more.  I want the world to know Rachel existed. I still haven’t figured out what my big contribution is going to be. Maybe it’s this blog and if it is I better be sure to make it authentic and the true Me.  Hmmmm

There are many more things I hope for.  I could spend all day.

But at the moment many of my dreams  are deferred.   I think a lot of us have to defer our dreams.  I love the Langston Hughes poem and had it on my mind today:

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

I don’t know what it does?  Probably some of everything?  That’s all I will say, but I have moments where it dries up, festers, stinks, sweetens, sags, weighs me down and even explodes.  I’m a bit of a control freak and a dream deferred  is the ultimate loss of control.

It’s a dream deferred and I don’t want to wait!

So those are my thoughts and as almost nobody reads my pondering posts, I will say goodnight to myself, and try to do some actual dreaming. Sigh…

Goings on

So I’m doing this awesome Wellness challenge started by old friend Heather.  The challenge is based on a point system where you get points for healthy eating, exercise and spiritual reading/goal setting.  I like that it isn’t solely focused on weight because as I well know sometimes the lbs can be out of your control.

“This challenge is based on a daily point system with each of the following categories awarding one point per day. At the end of the 21 days two winners will be chosen: the person who lost the greatest percentage of their total body weight and the person who has the highest total number of points. Be HONEST!!!

1. Drink 48 ounces of water a day.
2. 45 minutes of exercise (doesn’t have to be consecutive)
3. No soda or alcohol
4. No sweets a.k.a. desserts, pastries, candy, etc. (Sugar-free alternatives are okay)
5. No fast food or unhealthy snacks
6. Consume two servings of fruits and veggies each day
7. No eating after 8 p.m.
8. Read 15 minutes of spiritual or motivational text
9. Write in your journal or blog.
10. Make a personal goal everyday (getting 8 hours of sleep, organizing a closet, reading to your kids each night, etc.)

**You get ONE FREE POINT PER AREA, PER WEEK. For example, you can skip exercise for one day a week and still get your point or you can have one whole free day!

Pretty cool hah,
Well, the challenge #9 means I will be blogging a lot in the next 21 days.  Gotta get my points. 🙂

Luckily I have a lot going on.

As I said yesterday I made an offer on a condo but the sellers have been strange in counter offering.   At first they offered too high and included a bizarre contingency that they had to buy a house or the offer was void.  I thought that was crazy.  There is no way I would do something like that.  Forget it.  I could end up without a house.  Then they sent a counter offer that was less without the nuts clause but they took out closing costs so it was basically the same.

The truth is the sellers over-improved their house for the neighborhood and now they are expecting me to pay for it.  They said in their offer that they couldn’t go any lower because they would lose money.  I said I’m sorry but what they have into the house is not my problem.  I am concerned with what the house is worth.  I can’t pay more because they have over-spent.

I’ve gotten a lot of advice and am okay if I lose the house.  I love it but there are other homes, other days.  We will see if the sellers wake up and get it together.  Nerve wracking!

The other craziness in my life is next Saturday is my swim!!!  My practice 5k seems like decades ago.  I can’t even believe it. Lately I’ve felt weak in the water.  I felt really strong after my Great Salt Lake swim but lately I’ve been dragging.  I can’t explain it but its been very frustrating and makes me nervous for next week.  I wish I had time to do a practice 5k next week to feel more confident but there is just no time.

I’ve been trying to change my breathing so I’m taking shorter breaths but in the meantime it leaves me feeling weak.  Just frustrating and nerve wracking.

I wish it was this weekend, and I could just be done. 2 weeks before any goal is done is the worst.  It just about makes me crazy.

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/when-goals-make-you-nuts/

 

At least I have end of the month next week so I should be kept hopping and hopefully the week will zoom by and I will be a finisher at a 5k swim!

So, that’s my rambling post for the day.  Let me just end by saying what a crazy Olympics this has been.  Great job Gabby Douglas, Rebecca Soni, Tyler Clary, Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps.  Wow!!! Its interesting because in Beijing Lochte and Phelps won everything but in London a lot of different swimmers have made gold.  It’s like they all just met together and said ‘let’s give everyone a gold’.  Pretty fun to watch.

I was watching Phelps race today on BBC and with about 15 meters left the coverage stopped! Talk about leaving me hanging! So I’m watching it now.  He did it!  Hurray! What an amazing accomplishment.  3 time gold medal winner in 200 IM.  So great!

They are all so amazing and inspire me to be awesome in my little effort next Saturday.

Let’s do it!

Ok.  So that’s my ramblings for the day.  More to come tomorrow.

 

 

Imposters

When I was in college I was given an editorial by Lynne Tempest called ‘A Pinch of Reality’ that I’ve hung onto all these years (it was originally posted in Network magazine in 1991 and I have the pink handout I got probably 12 years ago in college! I told you I was a pack rat!).   It has always wrung true to me and I was thinking about it this weekend.

The main point of the piece is that many women feel they are ‘imposters’ in their own lives.  Here’s some examples she gives:

‘”I’m not really a composer but for my final project I did compose just a couple of little pieces” said a classmate recently in a course on women composers.  After several apologies and self-effacing gestures, she sat down at the piano and played 3 magnificent compositions.’

‘”It’s just a simple pet project.  Nothing really” said another classmate, as he pulled from a plastic bag an exquisite front panel for an Amish quilt she recreated.’

“‘After studying several months in preparation for the LSAT, and after having taken a handful of difficult classes to boost an already high GPA, a close friend was recently surprised to have been accepted into a prestigious law school.  ‘I just can’t believe they accepted me'”

‘Imposters? Impossible”

Tempest then goes on to describe what she calls ‘Imposter Syndrome’.  She describes it in her own life as an editor “What if I can’t do it? It’s just a matter of time before they discover I really don’t know what I’m doing’.  These were common refrains played over in my mind during my first months as editor.  It didn’t’ seem to matter that I had been intimately involved in the production of network for 6 years.  I knew it was just a matter of time before they found me out. I was scared.  I felt alone”

“Why is it so hard for women to accept their own genius? What are we afraid of? And what does it mean when we don’t allow ourselves to relish in a job well done? By denying our own capabilities, we prevent ourselves from fully enjoying what we’ve worked so hard to achieve. ”

Isn’t it the truth?  I was thinking about that this week, because literally every time I swim or box or lift a lot of weights, whatever, I’m shocked at my own accomplishments.  Shocked is not too strong a word.  It always surprises me.  Every time I box I think ‘how did I do that?’ I watch that video of me boxing and there is a side of me that thinks ‘ah, I was just lucky’.  This after doing it for months and months.  It doesn’t seem like it could really be me? Every time I swim I look back at the lake and think ‘how did I do that’?

On one hand the imposter syndrome is a good thing because I get the thrill of surprise every time I achieve something but it can cause a lot of anxiety too.  There is never confidence I can really do it.  I am often plagued by the ‘what if’s’ and get anxiety.  What if I wrote a book and someone hated me?  What if I got half way through my swim and had to stop?  What if I tried really hard at a relationship and was rejected? It seems almost easier to expect failure and be pleasantly surprised with success? but that doesn’t seem right either? but the times in my life when I’ve assumed things were going well, accepted success as a given have also been a bit of a nightmare. Hmmm… (You see why I deal with anxiety!).  Maybe all of us women are just afraid of being dumped, being rejected because let’s be honest that sucks! So its easier to just fake it.

And it’s not just with sports.  I remember getting that same feeling every time I got a good grade on a class or a paper.  Thinking ‘wow I can’t believe I did that…’.  Who knew I was smart?  When I got my MBA everyone would talk about how I was one of the smartest people in the class but I never really believed it.  I remember one person saying that Jodi and I were the ‘dream team’.  I wish! (see…just did it)

I say this and I actually think I have a pretty healthy self-esteem.  I’m comfortable with my body, I’m willing to compliment myself and I get excited about my life but still there is always that voice protecting myself.  At least I never stop trying things but I can’t completely stop that voice in my head telling me that I’m an imposter like Tempest says.  I’m not really a swimmer just someone with a cap and goggles making a show about it.

Tempest seems to think this is a problem only faced by women.  What do you think? Men, out there- do you feel like imposters in your life? I know its not much of a problem for my Dad.  He walks into a room expecting to be pretty darn good at everything he tries.  He’s the most confident person I know.

The funny thing is that I don’t see anyone else in this way? I don’t think others are secretly not living up to their potential or not good enough.  I think everyone else is awesome and inspiring.

Perhaps we do this to protect ourselves from criticism? We’d rather say the criticisms in our head first so that if the world let’s it out it’s not as crushing.  Perhaps some of us felt over-criticized as a child and developed the technique as a coping mechanism?

I know for me I was plagued with a hard-edged, critical choir teacher in high school and I still definitely feel like an imposter in any kind of performance. I remember performing On My Own to a girl who had played Eponine on Broadway and she was so complimentary.  She even said ‘I think that song is perfect for your voice’.  While I was flattered there was a side of me that wanted to shrug it off like I was a singing imposter and she’d soon learn I’m not very good.  Even someone of that caliber didn’t quite convince me.  It excited me but didn’t quite convince me. I still LOVE singing every chance I get but don’t really feel great at it.  Does that make sense? Can you relate to that in your life?

I mean there are some things I know I’m not good at like dancing.  I suck at dancing.  There is no imposter pretense going on there.  For some reason I have an easier acknowledging the things I suck at then the things I’m good at.  My friends gush and pay me all kinds of compliments and I think ‘oh, they’re just being nice’.  And I say that having a pretty healthy self esteem!

I think the hard part is women don’t want to be too cocky or conceited but there has to be a balanced level of humility and pride?  Right? What is the solution?

Maybe part of it is there is always someone else to compare to- sometimes even our former selves?  We can beat ourselves up over our bodies, athletic abilities whatever that we used to have instead of just saying ‘wow, I did pretty good for a 30+ amateur swimmer’.

What do you think?  Do you find yourself feeling like an imposter in your life and apologizing for your accomplishments?  How can we stop this?

Tempest says, “This is where sisterhood comes in.  Let’s make a vow to one another.  Next time you hear a statement like ‘I can’t believe they accepted me’ or ‘It’s nothing really’, step forward and pinch that woman- a simple reminder she can’t deny her strengths.  Let her know she’s real.”

Sounds like a good vow to me.  I’m in and will be pinching myself a lot! What about you? How can we stop this imposteritis among us?

No Vacation: No Distraction

Everyone knows I’m a huge traveler and love experiencing new places, cultures and food.  So you might find it surprising when I talk about my plans for the summer. I have decided to take NO VACATIONS.

No Beach This Year 😦

Here’s why:

I have a goal to swim a 5k at the Deer Creek Open Water Swim.  This is an ambitious goal- 3 times what I struggled to swim at the GSL race.  I know I will not be able to accomplish this goal without some serious dedication.   Even with the dedication it will be a challenge.

I had thought about going to Disneyland but I have to go to California for work/reunion (doesn’t count as a vacation, more like a business trip) and if you add Disneyland it will be 2 weeks away from my training.  I can’t risk that.

I also decided to put the  money I would have put to travel towards my training.  I have started meeting with a dietician and am taking UFC kickboxing classes (they are so much fun and the trainer is great!).  This week I was supposed to take the week off and rest my muscles…I have worked out every day.  Not too successful.  Sorry doc!

I’ve also been watching what eat even more carefully and am using myfitnesspal.com to help me keep track.  I found I was either eating too much or too little.  Now it is closer to the right balance.  By not going on vacation I am able to control my diet more carefully.

I still have vacation days to use but I plan on applying those to recovery days and then if I have extra I may take a trip in the winter to NYC.  Maybe New York for Christmas! (The Tony awards peaked my interest in a couple shows).

What I would love to do is save money so I can go to the swim camps in Costa Rica.   That would be a dream come true! It would also be an easy trip to go by myself because it is planned, group oriented.  I don’t feel like I am a good enough swimmer yet for it to be worth it but I’d love to go!

http://www.costaricadreamswimcamps.com/costaricadreamswimcamps.com/Welcome.html

I’m really going to miss the beach this year. It’s just not summer without the beach but at least I have a salt lake to enjoy and there is always the man-made strangeness of Black Ridge in Herriman.

Black Ridge reservoir (more like a cow pond behind some houses) strange place but nice!

I’ve just got to make sure that with no vacation I don’t make myself crazy.  I’ve got to find ways to relax within my normal schedule.  Especially with training this could be difficult.  I do not want to get over-stressed like I did before the GSL (no promises but I’m going to try!).

What do you do to relax when you can’t vacation or travel?