Sometimes life isn’t so sparkly. It’s snowing here in Denver, my workouts have been sequestered to the indoors, and trips to Boulder have been cancelled. I usually look forward to the first snow of the season, but this year it’s come with an aura of melancholy, if not downright disdain.
I hit the pool this morning for swim # 1. I warmed up, I got into the first set, and then I stood at the wall. And then I got out of the pool. I just got out. I QUIT, just like that.
My afternoon swim with PIC was successful, although it was a mere 1600 yards, and you can’t “quit” with your friends. I talked to her a bit about my feelings of lackluster. I remember telling her, “I just want to knit a hat”. I have been so focused, and so dedicated for what feels like a year now and some of that strength is being tested right now. I find myself upset that I have to put on clothes, work out, take off those clothes, put on more clothes, be a mom, change clothes, train, change clothes, cook food, change clothes, change clothes, change clothes. My body feels great, I’m just so sick and tired of changing clothes. At the end of the day, what do I have to show for all my hard work? …a huge load of laundry.
It’s getting to me. I am tested at times. We all are, right?
The swim I QUIT bugged me. I sent an email to my friend Anthony. He’s like my big brother and sometimes just seeing him makes me feel more relaxed. He agreed to swim with me after he got off work so that I could try to make up Swim #1.
While I was waiting for 5pm to roll around I decided to attack my feelings with my thoughts, a self imposed battle I dare you to try. I said “Sonja, what do you want”? Why are you angry, what do you need? And the answer was…a hat. I needed to knit a hat, to know that I have time for other things if that is what I desire.
So I sat down and I crocheted a hat. I needed to feel with my hands, I needed a sense of accomplishment that can only come from making yourself a piece of clothing. I turned on a documentary in the background to listen to while I crocheted. It was called “How to Cook Your Life”
How to Cook Your Life was profound on a day like today. It’s a quiet little documentary about Zen and cooking, but there were many gems. One such gem hit me like a ton of bricks, it spoke to me.
Sincerity. It comes from the word Sincere. Sin meaning “without” and Cere meaning “wax”. Without Wax. This is actually folk etymology (says wikipedia)…but go with it. Without wax means: without covering up your blemishes. To be sincere is to be open with your faults. It’s tempting to want to be perfect, to appear above reproach. But the lines on your face are an example of your sincerity. Through the course of life you get banged up, you get tarnished. In the movie the main character talks about a tea pot that was in the kitchen. It was a beat up old tea pot, but it was round and jolly. He could see that despite it’s sorry state it still reveled in carrying water and tea. And he said “If the tea pot can do it, so can I”.
See, there is a quality that continues, even when we are banged up and tarnished. Life is not easy, we get wrinkles, we get down, we buy the best wrinkle cream and it does’t work for us, we LIVE it, and it ain’t always pretty. But if the tea pot can do it, so can we.
And with that I met Anthony this evening and we knocked the crap out of what I am affectionately referring to as “swim workout #1”. That pool was left with some wrinkles, and some bruises after we were done with it (sincerity), and I was left with a 6 second PR in the 200yd free. Because when life throws punches, it’s perfectly ok to sit down, knit a hat, get up, and throw some fricking punches back.