Monday, February 1, 2010

Victory at Sea

I hit the pool for the first time in a while. Actually, there were a few snags. (1) my coupon to waive the $125 initiation fee expired YESTERDAY, and they wouldn't cut me any slack on that. I thought about telling them something like, "Aww, that really stinks because I have CANCER", you know, to really make them feel badly and change their minds. But I do have standards. (Still, at some point I may just throw out the 'C-card' to get my way, because if you got it, you might as well use it for SOMETHING positive.)

Then, once on deck, in my shiny new hot pink and black (gasp) Speedo, (2) I realized I forgot my cap and goggles. Whoopsiedaisy. Being intimately familiar with how pools run, I knew what to do. I sauntered over to the lifeguard and asked him if I could comb the lost-n-found for some loaners. He let me in the office by myself. I could have stolen anything: their staff schedules, the pool pH records, you name it. Anyway, all I could find was a rubber swim diaper and a crapola pair of goggles from 1987. But still: score. I would be able to see. So I went back out and asked him if I could borrow HIS cap. He doesn't wear a cap. Liar.

So (3), I pulled my hair back in a ponytail (awesome for lap swimming) and (4) strapped on the "Lane 4"-brand goggles. ("Lane 4", anyone?) They were ok, except they had no foam around the right eye, so that eye was completely filled with water from the moment I got in. I just swam with one eye open.

As I dove in, I realized (5) I forgot to remove the hygenic liner from my suit (all new women's suits have them). But it was too late, so I tried to ignore it and not wonder if any other women had tried on the suit before me. Let's just go ahead and make that (6).

But then it turned great. I started swimming and honestly, I felt amazing! My arms kept turning over and over, never getting tired. I felt like a wind-up toy, going and going, swimming circles around everyone. After a flip turn when I'd streamline off the wall, I could feel a slight tightness at my incision site, but that was all: it's healed! I would have started doing butterfly in celebration were it not for the still new-ish port installed in my shoulder. I'd hate to rip that thing out of the jugular just yet. Anyway, as I swam on and gazed out into the pool through my left eye, looking past the murky yellowness of my hair swirling all around my face, I thought, "YOU CALL THIS 'SICK'? HA! THIS IS NOT SICK! THIS THING DOES NOT HAVE ME! THIS IS NOT HOW A SICK PERSON FEELS!"

(OK--it got a little hokey, I guess, like an inspirational movie about a comeback kid you'd see on the Oxygen Channel). Still, let me have my moment.

And it's funny because in a way, that's how this whole process has felt for me. It seems like I cannot catch a break. One setback after the next-- and yet for some reason, sometimes I still am able to feel truly happy. (Don't let me mislead you, I've had some UBER-SHITTY TIMES, for s-u-r-e. To put it mildly.) But in general, I feel like they can throw all kinds of shit at me and I'm going to try my damndest to make the best out of this. Life gives me a shit sandwich, and I'll serve it with lemonade. To twist the expression slightly.


  1. So glad to hear shell. You are going to be another success story, I know it! I can't wait to see you in 6 weeks :) XO!

  2. Shelly! Like I've said before, I just LOVE reading your blog!! I feel like a little kid who is eagerly listening to a bed time story...weird analogy, I know, but you get my point. And I especially love the "Life gives me a shit sandwich, and I'll serve it with lemonade" phrase!! You keep hanging in there and kicking this C's ass!!! (and hey, I think I would've pulled the C-card when told about the expired initiation fee!!)

  3. My sister and I used to often say, "Life will offer you shit sandwiches from time to time. Always have a bag of chips at the ready, and NEVER order it opened-faced."

    This post made me laugh out loud this a.m. - thanks for that!

  4. SHAZAAM!!!
    Look out world, look out cancer. Here she comes.
    I love you Shel!!

  5. I can just envision you at the pool going through all of that. I forgot my cap and goggles last Saturday and had to kick or scull head up the whole workout b/c I refused to wear anyone else's loaners. You're (obviously) way tougher than me Shelly! Glad to hear you're doing well!

  6. Sacrée Shelly. You cuh-rack me up. You should be a writer.