Saturday, August 18, 2012

Who Wants to Buy My Kayak?

I'm not using the kayak. $600 firm. This gets you 2 new lifejackets, new paddle, paddle tether, high-rise, comfortable seat with storage pouches, 40 pound kayak, one-seater, sit-on-top.  Knee straps for stability.
e-mail me on this blog or call Brendan 760-445-5082 Oceanside.
I gotta' go swim the pier now.

"The first time you quit is the last time you try."

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Neat Pier Swim: Flat Water, Warm but OK, and My Mind Was Right

I guess that I'm going into a good time period now.  The last couple of days I have felt better and have wanted to get into the water.  Look at the sunset in the pictures at the bottom of the stack here.  That is just before 7:30 PM.  A clear sky and lots of picture takers around the pier.
I reviewed my poem this afternoon and was able to recite it in my mind over and over as I swam tonight.  It gave me a peaceful feeling.  The warm water was relaxing and my time was slower--34 minutes around.
Off the end of the pier I heard an engine, and a speedboat (about 18 foot) was in too close to the pier and we were on a collision course.  I always keep an ear tuned in for the whine of engines and look up if I hear anything like that.  The boat was being driven by a small kid with his Dad behind him.  A good thrill for the kid but 30 feet away is too close for me.  The Dad waved to me and I waved back.  No sweat.  The Dad appeared to be moving near his boy to guide the boat away from me.  Not close enough to raise my heart rate or get me mad.
The water was flat.  I had a good stroke going and felt efficient.  Small waves--two feet but surfable.
The body and mind were in sync.  If 'sync' is a real word? Short or slang for synchrony.

"The first time you quit is the last time you try."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday Night Farmers' Market Oceanside, CA

It was 81 degrees outside when I arrived at the beach at 6:30 PM tonight.  Unusually warm for us; the water temperature was 70 degrees.  We are quite fortunate.  Parking was free.  What a deal!
The pier area was crowded with walkers and shoppers from the Farmers' Market up the street. 
The water was mild, with nicely-shaped, two-foot waves with quite a few surfers enjoying the evening.  I swam north to south, no current, no chop, and finished in just under 30 minutes. 
While I was swimming I reviewed a poem in my mind that I thought I had just finished memorizing two days ago:  The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost.
I got stuck on the first line of the third stanza, and throughout the swim I recited the poem in my head, each time coming up with nothing in the same spot.
That line is:  "And both that morning equally lay..."
Everybody remembers the two well-known lines of this poem:
I took the road less traveled by;
And that has made all the difference.
I believe that many of us want to have taken this 'road less traveled,' but have we?  I think that Robert Frost truly did; he was quite an individual, staying close to the land and making the mundane parts of nature remarkable and beautiful in his poetry. 
I'll sign off now and review my Frost.

By the way, my favorite Frost is "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening."
"The first time you quit is the last time you try."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Last Post Motivated Me To Swim Tonight. Mission Accomplished.

I couldn't find my camera; I think I left it in Temecula at the rental house that my son and I are cleaning up to get a new tenant in there.  He's doing the work; I am doing the thinking. 
Well, after writing, posting, and pondering my post about why I was NOT swimming, I dredged up enough motivation to head to the beach tonight.  Sunset was at 7:30 PM. I arrived at about 6:45 PM.
The water was mellow, mild waves (about 2 feet), and warm at 70 degrees.  I got in and swam around the pier from north to south.  No currents.  My swim was 34.5 minutes.  The distance was probably a little over 3/4 of a mile.  I felt pretty good and had the water to myself past the surf zone.
It was good to get that return to the water out of the way.
Nice to push back against the self-pity and come out swell.

"The first time you quit is the last time you try."

No Swimming; But How About Some Poetry?

I haven't been able to get myself in the water for a long time now; I'm feeling like I've lost my edge, and that's a bad thing.  I'm experiencing two countervailing feelings: the negative influence of chronic pain versus my willpower to get into the ocean.  Living with pain has stripped my willpower, and is causing me to struggle with my motivation.  Certainly I have swum in pain time and time again when my mindset was right.
Unfortunately, I have a self-pity gene against which I have struggled throughout my life.  Adrenaline-rich experiences repress that gene, freeing me up to live as one who blends in with the world.  My adrenal glands need a good squeeze.

I have some quotes and sayings memorized that I rely on to keep me going.  They don't always work, but I have stuck with one especially though a few decades.  I'll give you a bit of history before I write it down.
There was a young sailor of 19 who swabbed the deck of the medical department on board the USS Midway  routinely.  One day in 1979, underway in the South China Sea, I was swabbing the small medical ward.  I was raising the racks (beds) up to swab thoroughly underneath.  I found a small scrap of well-worn paper with a poem written on it.  I toted this paper (approximately 3" x 3") around throughout my life (in my wallet) and memorized it over and over again.  I know the words well, for this great find was about 33 years ago.  It has served me as a source of motivation and I will share it. 

If You Think You're Beaten

If you think you're beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you want to win, but think you can't;
It's almost a cinch you won't.

If you think you'll lose, you're lost.
For out in the world we find;
Success begins with a fellow's will;
It's all in the state of mind.

Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.

I never researched it until now; I thought that the sailor who had been napping on that rack during lunch had probably written it.  He was a studious type, this Mr. P. Pena, who was always seen with a novel and a dictionary.  I never did ask him; I liked the poem and kept it. 

It was written by a Mr. Walter Wintle in the early 1900's, and later modified and claimed by a few other writers as their own work.  When I looked it up today, I see that there is a third verse that was not written on my scrap.  I MUST look around the house, for surely I still have that paper somewhere.

It is not working for me just now, but I won't give up on it.  After all, as I say at the bottom of all my posts:

"The first time you quit is the last time you try."