Category Archives: Thoughts

If You Can, Call Your Mother Tonight and Here’s Why


My mother died January 4, 2016. That’s it. Even though I had her around for close to 65 years, she’s gone. And yes we could get on each others nerves and I often thought that she should filter what she said and patience was not her virtue. There’s a but here. But she sat up with me when I had the measles and entertained me when I had the mumps and was there before and after they took my tonsils out. Oh and she was at every corny school program, stood up to a particular Nun who had very low expectations of her students, helped me buy my first car, agreed to be on the mortgage of my first house and did all she could for my son her only grand kid.

And now she’s gone. No more conversations or getting her slant on the news and politics or the benefit of her very great instincts about people.

So stuck it up and call your Mom because one day she’ll be gone.

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I’m Still Here1


This blog is my baby. It was my first blog and has a place in my heart. As life moved on I got away from blogging regularly and finally I stopped posting here at all. So much time has passed, life changes, I lost my Mom in January yet here I am today posting again. This year Lord willing I will turn 65. Woo Hoo!!!! To you young folks that probably sounds ancient. Perhaps but I’m happy as heck to be here. I still have a lot of goals and ideas and maybe I will fulfill some of them this year! I can’t promise to do this daily but you will here from me more regularly! Happy March! I’ll let you know when spring has really sprung. The darn groundhog that eats my garden will be seen soon. Then we know it’s spring!

The Hardest Thing About Swimming


For the past few months I have struggled with my swimming stamina. After regularly swimming for several years, I didn’t see the progress that I wanted to. Even post triathlon season I still found myself gasping at the end of a fifty yard swim. My coach told me to stop struggling and use the buoy and just use my upper body.  So the next day I did 30 laps (60 lengths of 25 yd pool) for a total of 1,500 yards without stopping. Not bad but in my head I am still using the crutch of the buoy. I have done this for the last two weeks. The other day I decided to try to do fifty yards without the buoy. Guess what? I did two hundred! So what’s my point? After the mechanics kick in what’s in your head dictates your swimming ability. I can’t stress this enough. Relax and rely on your training. The rest will come. Did I mention be patient with yourself? A hard learned lesson for me.

Putting In The Work


 

 

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Okay, I’ve spent a lot of time in the pool over the last three years and the bottom line is that I haven’t made the progress that I should. I am easily defeated and when I don’t see fast progress I ignore the fact that I haven’t put in the work to get better. We have indicated to our Coach Mike Garrett that we want to improve, maybe compete and for sure improve our open water times for triathlons.  Speaking for myself, I have been mostly playing. By now a mile should be a routine. I am gasping for air after 100 yds.  Plain and simple I haven’t done the work. So here is my 2015 pledge, no more whining just doing. I started today. Let’s see what I can do.

 

Saturday Swim Practice


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Another great swim practice. Right now we are working on improving our freestyle stroke. Coach Mike is a talker and that freaks out some folks. He explains the reason and mechanics for each drill. I like knowing why we are doing certain things so it’s fine with me. Many of us have spent years swimming incorrectly. Personally, I want to swim the best stroke that I can. Apart from competing I want to know that I can swim well and easily. I have to put in the work. I have a very weak kick. Drills are helping me improve. I love swimming and enjoy our regular Saturday practice. Happy Saturday everyone.

 

Pause and Reflect


Yesterday morning I looked at my phone and saw a message from a college classmate who lives in Paris. The message was to let me know that one of our friends had passed away. As is human nature shock is followed by a sense of one’s mortality. I hadn’t seen him for years and unlike some of us he was not a social medial person so the news took us by surprise for sure. My college roommate who is the practical voice among us said well we are at the age where this will be happening. Cheery thought but true. It made me think that there is a lot to be said for  Carpe Diem thinking. While tomorrow may not be our last, all kinds of things can steal our joy. Enjoy every day that you can. Don’t take any for granted.

Have a good evening.

Todays Sermon: 1 Corinthian 9:27


“No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize” 1 Corinthian 9:27 (NIV Bible)

 

Wow this was the premise of todays sermon. I thought Christian or not, this was a powerful sentiment and really resonated with me. I’m the boss of me and there are things I need to handle. Stay the course and do what you need to so you don’t lose the prize. So many ways to take this passage and they are all meaningful to me right now. No more games, have to be serious.

What do you think?

Why Can’t Black People Swim?


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Okay if you want to hear really stupid things google them. I looked out of curiosity and because we had a very unsuccessful swim event for kids last evening. Now without debating a myriad of silly issues about swimming I am going to say that the sports that get the least attention in some communities have the fewest participants. Who knows how to swim and how do they learn?

I grew up in Manhattan, the only child of a father who was afraid of the water and a mother who knew how to swim. I did not have a local Y to go to or any indoor pool that I can remember. Occasionally we went to public pools but not often. Yet I have been in the water my whole life. Probably because my mother loved the water and she passed that information on to me.

So dispensing with a lot of other theories, I think that you only know about swimming what you are exposed to.

Currently I am enjoying a Facebook page dedicated to Black Triathletes. Before you say why is that page necessary, it’s to offer support and spread the word about a sport that may still be unknown to many minority people with athletic aspirations. Swimming is often the topic of conversation because many people haven’t learned how to swim.

So much work to do. Pass the word, swimming is fun and may save your life one day. If you live in New Jersey and can come to Newark, let me know we have a beautiful pool, a Master swim team and would love to have you learn to swim!

JFK Pool Newark, NJ

What is You Resting Heart Rate?


Your resting heart rate is a tool that determines how efficient your heart is pumping blood. The more athletic you are the lower the rate will can be. Now the article I read said that if your RHR (resting heart rate) is below 60 or above 100 you should check in with your Doctor particularly if you have any symptoms including nausea and dizziness. On my recent to the cardiologist my resting heart rate was 64 which according to the chart I read is excellent for my age.

Definitely a result of all the training I did for the triathlons. Makes it all worth it I think.

What is a Tread Start?


I have so much to learn about triathlon. I have inquired of people who have done the New Jersey State Triathlon about the event before I pay my money and sign up. First the swim is in a lake and I’m not crazy about lakes. But okay I can give it a tri Lol! Second it is a USTA sanctioned event and it’s timed. Only 35 minutes for the swim, which makes me a bit nervous. Even though I covered more distance in 32 minutes anything can happen and over 35 minutes from your start and you are pulled from the water and dq’d. I would be devastated to say the least. From what I gather you have about three hours to complete the ride and four hours to complete the whole event. They close the course at 11:30 am. That shouldn’t be a problem but I’m anxious about the timed aspect. Now I’m told it’s a “tread” start. Do you know what that is?

You actually start the race in deep water and swim out to the start and tread water until the horn goes off! What? Well this will be a new challenge if I decide to tri it.