Monday, August 10, 2009

no quitters here

i had no life balance and keeping fit was a distant memory. then a pool opened five minutes from home. i signed up for a swim fit class and got back in the pool for the first serious swim in maybe seven years. i struggled my way through 1000m and i was sure everyone could hear me heaving to get air. since then i have swum three times a week without fail and i am again a swimming maniac. drill work, stroke technique, everything but butterfly and what i love most - interval training – the whole bit. luckily (and i will admit) i have a decent but untrained stroke. times are hard to compare when you take into account short course v. long course, diving, turns etc but i can swim a 1500m under 28:00. got to be happy with that. especially where i had come from. i wasn’t overweight, i was active but i smoked. and had done for a very long time. in some ways i think past swimming etc had helped lessen the damage but two months into my renewed fitness campaign i realised i had a choice. i could either seriously improve my swimming or i could struggle along and be left behind. now smoking is a strange habit. i had given up a few times before and i knew the pitfalls. when i listed reasons for quitting death was never at the top. you get lung cancer and you’re gone pretty quick. how foolish to do that to your life but what i feared most was the wheelchair and oxygen bottle. but still that wasn’t enough because it is always tomorrow. two factors are the reason i no longer smoke. i didn’t quit and i didn’t give up. i no longer smoke. firstly i removed myself away from people who do smoke and it was all about the swimming. i wanted to do that more than i wanted to smoke. every time i even came close to thinking about smoking i reminded myself what i would have to give up. i couldn’t do both. i wanted to be the best i could be. at the end of the season this year i had completed five sprint triathlons and that in itself has become a whole other story. i know i will never smoke again and maybe that is my biggest achievement.

i wrote this awhile ago and have now come to the conclusion that while it is very tough to stop smoking it no longer defines me as much as it did. i dont believe it is my biggest achievement but just a part of how my life has progressed. the next phase is about me and my efforts in becoming a triathlete. i find it hard to describe myself as an athlete (with any confidence) and at 45 firmly believe that people think i am nuts, delusional and are having a huge laugh behind my back. i dont care. i love the training and i love the challenge. i will believe.

4 comments:

SKMDT said...

Congratulations on quitting smoking, and good luck with your training. 1500m in under 28 is very good, and you'll get faster from there.

hamlet_cat said...

I took up jogging in my twenties as an excuse to quit smoking. It is a ridiculous habit and it is hard to believe I ever took it up. Congratulations on making such a significant life change!

jenez_world said...

thanks. it is amazing how many ex-smokers are out there. and i like how they appreciate just how hard it is to stop.

peter Wood said...

Welcome back to the human race and to triathlon and IM. Will look forward to seeing you around the IM races in the future and a great blog that you have here. It has even enthused me Pete from Coffs