Death by swimming

Photo: SXC

Hubby and I live in New Brunswick, Canada and therefore, we are tortured blessed to have the opportunity to experience the glory of winter. White fluffy snow shimmers like diamonds for 4 or 5 months a year. Hubby and I build snowmen, make snow angels and hold hands frolicking and skipping through it every day (not)!

Snowstorms dump anywhere from 10 to 15 centimeters of snow (which is a considered a light sprinkling, I might add) every week for about 20 weeks coupled with a dozen or more “real” snowstorms of 30+ centimeters. And it’s not like it melts away the next day, no siree. The white stuff just adds up and adds up until your driveway is a tiny one-lane roadway that your vehicle hardly gets through with 12 foot mountains of the white shit on either side. It’s sick!

Honestly, it starts snowing sometime in November/December and it doesn’t stop until late March (we’ve actually been known to get 30+ snowstorms in April…seriously…no joke). And if that wasn’t enough, throughout the 20-week snowstorm marathon we will endure -20 to -30 degree Celsius temperatures (and don’t forget it’ll actually feel like -40 to -50 with the freaking wind chill…gotta love wind chill) and reduced sunlight (it’s dark when you get up and leave for work and dark by the time you get home). No wonder we turn into real grump bags.

Now, don’t get me wrong; hubby and I work hard to make the best of it. We enjoy downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing etc. But honestly, there’s only so much freezing your ass off trudging through the snow that you can take before you get a hate-on for all things winter.

In comes the annual trip south; our winter coping mechanism.

Hubby and I got married April 2010 in the Dominican Republic and we’ve been addicts ever since. Our annual 2-week trip south is our very own “you don’t really notice winter” kind of drug. It gives us hope; something to look forward to as we endure yet again, another snowstorm. We even say to each other “oh well…we can take this 40-50 centimeter storm, it’s only 70 more sleeps till we are basking in the sun on a white sandy beach!” Voila. It’s like winter beer goggles!

The only bad thing (and I say bad but it’s probably a pretty good thing) is that the trip south has made us very aware of our…well…pudge factor. A summer and fall at the camp has equated to about 20 pounds of fun on my thighs and ass and on hubby’s tummy.

So this year, in preparation for “the” trip (and in the name of fitting into our summer clothes and the bikinis – my bikinis, not hubby’s), hubby signed us up for an 8-week fitness swimming class. The class description said it was for anyone wanting “to increase their swimming fitness.”

Perfect! When south, we do lots of swimming so not only will this help with fitness and weight loss, it’ll help us increase our stamina for snorkeling – fahhbulous, right?!?!

Our first indication should have been when hubby signed us up for the class. He stepped up to the cash and told the lady what he was there to register for.

 “Wonderful, are you and your wife training for a triathlon?” she asked.

Ummmmm…hubby (at 6’3” and 280 pounds) is no tiny man and he carries his weight primarily in the belly region.

Hubby looked at her, grinned, and slowly opened his jacket.

“Do I look like I am training for a triathlon?” he replied.

The cashier giggled.

“What am I getting us into?” hubby asked.

“Oh no no no…you guys will be fine! Absolutely! No worries.”

Yikes. But how hard could it be?

It’s water; beautiful and silky, in a gorgeous pool making everything blue and luxurious. It draws me in. I have visions of slicing through the water with ease. My swim strokes graceful and fluid. People commenting on what a natural I am; dolphin-like with speed and agility.

Ummmmmmm…not so much!

After three weeks, I am now convinced that the devil is reincarnated in this swimming pool! He likes to reach up and torture me with continuous toe, feet, and calf cramps not to mention the awkward flailing and near drownings. Every muscle in my body screams bloody murder. I swear as we drive up to the pool, a revolution starts taking place on the inside and body parts refuse to move. It’s death by swimming.

Seriously. The shit we do to get/stay in shape! I swear, if I manage to achieve any kind of fitness level and/or weight loss, I am NOT letting myself get so far gone again because this is painful!!!

How do you handle getting back into shape? What do you do to help get you through tough weather seasons?

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ROW80 – Round 4 – Check-in #14

It’s time to update you on my ROW80 progress. You can find a list of my goals here.

Work In Progress Goals:

  • 5.5 hours on WIP (goal: 5 hours/week)
    • Wrote and flushed out the story idea hubby and I toyed around with
    • Applied James Scott Bell’s LOCK and 3-Structure to the story idea
    • Read Chapter 3 and went through the “who are you” questions
  • Had a great email chat with my ROW80 Sista, Nancy J. Nicholson.
  • I reported on my ROW80 goals (although Sunday’s is a day late)

I had a great weekend of writing at the camp. I played around with the new story idea hubby and I came up with. I had a lot of fun with it and got some of the major plot points outlined.

Then I read Chapter 3 of James Scott Bell’s book. Grrrr – why isn’t this the first chapter? Chapter 1 deals with the LOCK method and how to apply it to your story idea. Chapter 2 is about 3-act structure and again how to apply it to your story idea.

And then Chapter 3 is about how to come up with great story ideas. Huh? I mean, fantastic chapter and I really enjoyed it but why wasn’t it first? I was confused because we’ve already been applying exercises TO a story idea so!?!? A bit odd but anyway….the chapter talked about writing “who you are” (not what you know), writing your passion, and about how to test your ideas to see if they are strong enough for a novel. Mr. Bell says that since we are going to spend 6 months, a year, or 5 years with our novel it better be a story we want to tell and are passionate about. True that!

The chapter made me rethink my above idea. Although fun, fresh and quirky, it’s not my passion and it’s not exactly who I am. I think I could write a great story but I don’t want to just write something because I’d be good at it. I want to write something that I am passionate about. A story I am DYING to tell. A story I feel compelled to tell.

This week I’ll be using his story idea methods to come with two ideas (I actually already have one brewing that I think is more in line with who I am and my passion) so I am excited. Stay tuned.

Blogging Goals:

  • Blogged 5 days (5 posts)
  • Read, commented, retweeted/tweeted on over 25 blogs.

How is your ROW80 progress going thus far?

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