Sunday, July 29, 2012


I got to swim today. And I was feeling pretty adventurous so I decided to forgo my usual steady paced 1000 yds (20 laps) or my even slower paced mile swim (36 laps) and instead I set out to do sprints. 

Ok, so I have never swam competitively and in fact I was not even remotely in-shape or athletically inclined until around 2002 when I joined the YMCA as a way to work through my first phase of acknowledgement and treatment of Dissociative symptoms. 

By the time I met and started dating my wonderful wife, in January of 2006, I had worked up to swimming 3x/week and running about 4 miles 2x/week. I had run so many 5k races I literally have no idea how many I did, and I had run about 10 10k races (my closet was bursting w/ those t-shirts you get from each race).  And I was playing indoor and beach volleyball w/ a recreation league. I never won a race outright (my best finish was 19th). Although I did have the cool experience of spiking a championship winning kill shot in an indoor volleyball tournament [funny DID note, I wasn't even aware of the score of the game and I didn't 'get it' right away that I had just won our team the championship]. Here's my point: sports and exercise has been more about the quality of the experience, and focusing on doing a good serve, a good flip-turn, a good push at the last 100 yds of a run, than about the score. I find a rhythm well within my limits and stick to it. 

So today was unusual in that I decided to really push myself. In a 25yd pool like at the YMCA, swimming 100s means up & back 2x (Its on my bucket-list to one day swim in a 50 meter pool like the Olympic athletes, just to see how I do).  I was going like gang-busters at first. I copied the flip-turn style of the Olympian swimmers and delayed righting myself after kicking off the wall and I even incorporated the underwater dolphin kick for a bit before breaking the surface into my freestyle stroke (the stoke I do 95% of the time). After a set I would catch my breath for almost a minute and go again. Holy crap that wears you out !!  By the third set I was dragging and by the end of the fourth set I had to change my breathing to every stroke to finish the last length. I had to break for a bit more between the 4th and 5th sets because I had my heart rate up to 200 bpm which is pushing it. Then it hit me that I had forgotten to eat lunch and all of this physical effort done around 3:30 in the afternoon was fueled by only a bagel w/ peanut-butter & honey which I had for breakfast [another funny DID note, forgetting to eat!]. So if I do 100 sprints again I'll make a personal note to eat and hydrate well before I set out.

It felt so good to push my body and to realize I AM STILL ALIVE and I MADE IT THROUGH and my body had the gasping-for-breath and a sore left shoulder to prove it.

So what’s my point? Its Simple, I just realized ... I have a story to tell ... That's it.  

But in a world dominated by my dissociative symptoms, where I feel so behind and feel so immature and feel so unable to share what my weekend really was like ... its nice to have something to share when I go back to work on Monday. Because I'm sure not going to share about the nightmare that woke me up early this morning, or share about how I worry that I responded to another DID blog with a very lengthy comment and I hope I didn't come off as selfish, or share about how one of my parts (Montreal) has decided to communicate in a near perfect British accent and that I was amazed at how I could switch from my usual southern drawl so effortlessly.

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