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channel2004

December 2017

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channel2004

A fish out of water…

This year which started with so much promise swimming and otherwise is turning into a year of loss.  My parents, both are not doing well.  The friends I use to be able to count on more than two hands have dwindled to 1 or 2.  My home Bay Swimming club has pretty much stated ‘we like the money you pay for dues but you aren’t one of us because you don’t live here.’  My home swim region just said the same thing.   

Who knew that living local was such a deal breaker in this world?  Especially in an age of instant news, information, communication and gratification; the world is not really as big as it used to be with modern communication and data services or so one would think.   Apparently I am mistaken or very much ill informed.

I moved 4 years ago because I thought I would have a solid place, a dream job with limited travel, a home and a future all equaling more training and swimming, time with a partner and settled. 

I thought that I would be able to hold on to my old friends, family and life while creating a second base of operations.  I didn’t realize or refused to acknowledge that people are really very temporary fragile connections that blow away much like a spider web in the wind and rain.   Every other connection is even more tenuous.   

This year I’m on the road every week for at least 6 days, temporary help for the latest bidder.  There doesn’t look to be an end to this situation.  I laughed, a very sad laugh when I heard Sawyer Brown’s ‘Six Days on the Road’ on the radio.  No, I’m not a trucker but I still very much understood the sentiment behind the song.

I am very seldom at the place I reside which is only a rental again.  I seem to live out of hotels most of the time.  My dogs are spending all their time with a caretaker and I seem to be the parent with limited weekend visitation rights.  I guess it is good that the visits aren’t supervised also.

I have scratched many more swims than I have participated in this summer due to this schedule.  I’m so very wary of entering swims because I just can’t afford to throw away the money on unused entry fees.  So I always wait until the last minute and decide, not the most economical way to go. 

A couple of times I have gotten home so late that to drive to the swim, then participate and drive back would put me awake for well over 30 hours at a time.  I’m willing to swim that tired but I’m not willing to take any chances behind the wheel of my truck where someone else would pay a huge price.      

It has been a year of injury and illness, backs, hips, knees, viruses, ulcer, asthma, shoulder issues, and just plain exhaustion.  It seems that everything is falling apart at the same time but there is no time to really heal anything.  I have taken to traveling with ice packs in checked baggage for temporary relief to injury while on the road.  The question becomes where do I need them the most or first? 

Now as I ponder a swim that is abroad, I have great trepidation that that part of my life is over also.  Is this the last adventure that I will participate in? 

 Am I traveling over there too find that another family and set of friends are ‘local only?’  Again, do I care too much for people who are more ambivalent about my friendship?  Are people really that easily replaceable and interchangeable?  I just miss my life or what I thought it was.  This new one sucks.

So I struggle to get ready for the 9 mile swim this month and the 10.5 next month and worry. 

What do I do for a crew this month, do I need it?  How will I get all the work done and justify an evening away for the pre-race dinner much less the couple of days for the 10.5?   

For the overseas trip; will I find myself as lonely during those few days as I do every day at home? 

I try to force myself to work on healing my shoulder so it will manage both swims.  All the while knowing that if I can’t, come September it will be time to let a surgeon fix it.  If that is the future will any chance of swimming for adventure and challenge vanish?  And the low voice that says ‘why do you continue to do it’ comes in treacherous and clear just to further unhinge things. 

I have found myself thinking maybe I’m not who I thought.  Maybe swimming isn’t me.  Maybe I am destined to just move around, making contact but nothing lasting.  Maybe I just don’t get it people are actually replaceable in all instances.  Maybe there really is no such concept as home.

Then I pay attention to the lyrics in my ears:

Holding Up the Sky

 I found myself between two places neither of them home

I could not recognize the faces

I've never felt so alone.....so alone

I found myself between two choices to settle or to run

All my life I've heard the voices

This time mine’s the only one....the only one

Chorus:

I wanna feel what the wind feels like

I wanna go that high and feel no fear except being down here

Holding up the sky.....holding up the sky

Life astounds us in an instant

Changing all we know

Blink just once and then you've missed it

All you can do is watch it go......watch it go

You wanna feel what the wind feels like

You wanna go that high and have no fear except being down here

Holding up the sky......holding up the sky

I found myself between two lifetimes

The sunset and the dawn

I reached out and took the lifeline offered up to me

between here and gone....here and gone

We want to feel what the wind feels like

We wanna go that high and feel no fear except being down here

Holding up the sky...........holding up the sky

I wanna feel what the wind feel like

I wanna go that high and feel no fear except being down here

Holding up the sky......holding up the sky

The lyrics of this song resonate with where I am today and the crisis of faith that I’m having with myself right now.  It managed to quiet the noise for awhile, so I will go try and figure my life again while listening. 

Comments

(Anonymous)

obviously too much travelling time for work. probably difficult to fix, but read your story above .....
Travelling for work, and injury and being let down is tough to deal with. However, I think you should remember that you are the person you become, and the person you become is the person you want to be.

The more you can get past your current problems, the easier it will get. Try to divide things up and segment them. Then tackle the big problems, whats the surgeons outlook on recovery after surgery?

My broken collarbone is just 12-weeks later, a distant memory, my swimming is coming back. Perhaps a big change would help.

Like you, after 3-years, I have to go back on the road, but mine pales in comparison with yours. Good luck, let me know if theres anything I can do to help or if you want to talk.