Swim Lesson.

I've been swimming before work recently. I know, I know, hold your applause. I've swam? swum? swimmed? laps off and on since I was on the ole' Cheverly Dolphins Swim Team back in the day. They say it's great exercise.

I like it because it's one of the rare times I allow quiet in my brain. I'm usually listening to a podcast or spotify or I'm at work watching footage or I'm at home and my dang kids are jibber jabberin'. Even when I go to bed I'm "podding." But under the water it's eerily silent, in a good way, and I get my think on.

The pool I go to doesn't have many lap lanes. In fact, on some mornings there are only two lanes for swimmin', the rest of the pool devoted to water-obics, led by an older gentlewoman with a somehow-not-dangerous Britney Spears microphone attached to her face. Every time I walk up to the pool there is a calculation. How many lanes? How many people per lane? Who's swimming laps? Who's doing a weird psuedo-exercise move on the ladder at the far end of the pool? Why is he doing that? Why is he not being dragged out of here?

All that to say, I want to find a good lane where I won't either be holding up the next Michael Phelps with my non-Olympic stroke speed OR I'm not running into the back of anyone's legs because I'm, not to brag, better-than-average at swimming.

Yesterday (or maybe the day before the day before, who cares?) as I was walking into the facility there was a hefty older fella slowly making his way towards the locker room. I went around him because every morning I'm on a very tight timeline so that I can: drop my baby off at daycare, swim some laps, then get home to get ready for work so that I can sit on the 101 for an hour.

I walked into the natatorium (look it up, great word) and saw that there was (heavenly choir awww sound) an open lane! I slid into that sucker and began to swim. The joy of an open lane, must be like what the very eagle soaring upon yonder gale of wind betwixt the clouds and heav'n must feel. Freedom. America. Third thing.

But then (organ music) the hefty fella from earlier splooshed into my lane. I thought "Oh jeez louise" because it's tough to share a lane under the best circumstances, and this guy looked like he spilled over the lane line with his girth. I was relatively bummed. I mean, not devastated because I get to swim on a weekday morning, that's pretty sweet, but still it's not the ideal swim sitch'.

As soon as the guy started swimming my tune changed. This guy was quick! He may move like a turtle on land, but he moved like a SEA turtle in the water. He was even doing flip turns at the end of each lane. I don't do flip turns, I do the thing where you just get to the wall, turn around, and push off. But this guy was serious!

It ended up being one of my best sessions at the pool because I never had to wait for him or slow my stride. A couple times I hastened my own booty because I felt like I might be in his way. Basically, me and this guy has great swim chemistry, or "swim-istry" as I will forever call it from now on now matter how many groans it induces. And I relearned a tale as old as time, never judge a book by its cover. Unless of course it's my book The Happenstances... and in that case judge the cover because it's awesome and so is the book. In summation: buy my book. Oh, and I won't be a jerk to people based on my preconceived notions. I will now happily share a lane with anyone as long as it's not the guy doing the weird ladder exercises who makes me nervous.

#Pete30Before30 Wrap Up: Part 1

It's almost here... I turn 30 years old in 2 weeks! It's been an incredible year and I think that a lot of that will come out as I wrap up my 30 Before 30: 30 things I wanted to accomplish, watch, even buy, in the year before I turned 30. This is just Part 1, I'll do a couple now and a couple more until I've covered all 30.

So here we go!

My original post will be in italics, then I'll type up my summary in good ole' normal type.

1)    Save Face
I was born with a cleft lip, I donate money to Operation Smile to help kids less fortunate than me get the life changing surgery that I was blessed enough to get when I needed it.  Over the course of this year I’ll donate enough for one surgery ($240), please join me in donating if you so desire.  I set up a OneSmile page where you can donate along with me here:
http://tinyurl.com/PetesOneSmile

I have indeed donated my $240 for one surgery (which I'll do every year by the way). I set another goal to raise donations for another $240 for another surgery and a bunch of awesome people donated and we raised an additional $300!! I'm going to try to push for another $180 on my birthday so that all in all 3 kids will have had their lives changed, but even what we did already is pretty cool. Thank you to anyone who donated.

 

2)    Don’t Run in Place, Run at a Place
I’m going to run a 5k!  Hopefully a fun one that involves beer or inflatable obstacles or mud or something.  This will be probably pretty tough for me and I’ll have to do some training for it.  I’ll keep you posted on which one I do so you can come along.  Maybe I’ll run for Operation Smile and raise some more money!

Man, this one was pretty cool. First of all I was able to raise money for Operation Smile through running the 5K. I ran the LA Harvest Festival Pumpkin Run and at the end I got a pumpkin! Another cool part about this goal was that I hated running but through training for the 5K I kind of got into running and now I run a couple days a week, so this was a life changer.

 

3)    Let Me Upgrade Me
I use my laptop computer every day at work, I write scripts and things on it, I’m writing this on it currently, right this second.  I got my MacBook before Facebook was invented…  It’s old.  I need a new one.  I’m going to do the damn thing and invest in a new laptop.

All I have to say about this one is... bling blinggg (and see picture below).

 

4)    A Novel Idea
Here’s a big announcement…  I have a deal with a publishing company to publish a novella I wrote.  This is beyond a dream come true, it’s a dream that I never knew I had in me really, I didn’t think it was possible.  I will write about this in length as the different steps happen.  So excited!!

In June of 2015 my first novel The Happenstances at the Yellow County Community Swim and Racquet Club the Summer Before Last was published by Koehler Books, it has been such a cool experience! I've been working hard to try to get the word out about the book. I've bought ads, been a guest on some of my favorite podcasts, and really hit the social media hard. In fact, if you still haven't bought the book you should go here: www.tinyurl.com/TheHappenstances and get the paperback or kindle version, what are you waiting for!?

AND, I'm working on a follow up novel to The Happenstances... where we'll pick back up with the Yellow County crew a couple of years later. Look out for that in probably 2017.

Here's a picture of me when I first got to hold a hard copy of my book:

 

5)    Be a Sport
I like sports, I like to play sports, but I hardly watch sporting events.  I’m going to make up for my total lack of sporting knowledge by watching the ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries.

OK, this will be the last one for today, and we'll end this group on a failure... I only watched 8 of these (list below) but every one I saw was excellent and I learned a ton that I didn't know before. I am definitely going to continue to incorporate these and of course other docs into my life. There's nothing better than a well-done documentary.

So those were my first five 30 Before 30 goals and how they turned out. Stay tuned for the rest of the list...