Monday, December 10, 2012

Jack Frost: Swim Coach And The Secret Of The Power Snowflake!

"Move to Texas" they said.  "It's warm there so you'll be okay." they said. Duckfeathers!!

Today was my first time swimming with one of the Austin Master's groups and it was a cold one!!  It was forty degrees when I headed to that OUTDOOR pool.  I haven't done a team swim practice since I was on the master's team in West Palm Beach before I decided to throw myself headlong into triathlon.  Even though I wasn't there early enough to really socialize, I loved the atmosphere and I loved that there was a woman in the next lane that evenly matched my pace, set after set.  I pushed myself in a way that I haven't in a long time.  I didn't nail everything perfectly, especially since it was all hypoxic work which is a weakness for me, but I found myself digging a little deeper that I would have normally.  It was a great experience and a fun way to knock out 3000 yards.

It also was nice to have someone on deck.  There was some backstroke in one of the sets and I did exactly one pull and my shoulder gave out.  There was no guilt at changing the workout because the coach was right there to say "just do it as free".  I would have felt like a loser if I had been on my own.  By the same token, there was no slacking when it got really hard either.  I was constantly aware of the eyes on my position and effort.  Plus, as I said before, anytime there is someone in the next lane.... it is a RACE!

Last week was the final week of the 2012 season for me (technically, it was the first week of the 2013 show season for the competitors though).  It was the Christmas show in Waco, TX.  The laid back atmosphere is illustrated by the fun that was had with the barns.  Set ups were shockingly involved and we, the braiders, did our part by twisting in festive colored yarn, pom-poms, even ornaments, to the braids.
Stockings hung by the fire and Wilbur looking for toys to steal!!

So that's how Santa got that "bowl full of jelly"!

This is for every kid that every asked Santa for a pony!

What you can't see here is that they wrapped the soda machine in gold paper. 

I had a small package of six or eight hard plastic snowflakes... perfect little glitter covered choking hazards... and tied them into the manes of some of my smaller customers.  I tend to give little things like that to those people that don't have all the money to buy the fanciest horses and show constantly.  It makes them feel special and they always seem to appreciate it more.  Well, one of the snowflake recipients apparently got a little freaked before going into the ring.  The trainer told the child that she was going to be okay.  She had a POWER SNOWFLAKE!!  The snowflake would give the pony power so she would be fine.  In fact, she would be better than fine since none of the other kids had power snowflakes.  When she told me that, it made all the other BS in my job worth it.


Finally, I feel good again.  I don't know how long it will last but for the moment, I feel good.  No fatigue, no hives, the only significant joint pain is the shoulder and my braiding hands.  This is a welcome respite from the misery of the last several months.  It took making certain decisions all week to treat myself very gently but it worked and I'll take it.

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