By Erin Bush
Since moving closer to work and gaining back an hour and a half of my life per day, I have found myself with more free time and wanting to fill that time. I am a complete advocate for trying new things, so long as it’s not tennis. My swimming had tapered off in the last few months, running had taken a back seat and I was having trouble getting back into the swing of things – so I had even more free time on my hands.
A year ago you couldn’t keep me away from the pool, I was swimming three times a week, knocking down time on all of my races. My favorite stroke was and is definitely the butterfly. It’s the most challenging, physically, mentally, aerobically… conceptually. In February, I qualified for nationals and I’d only been a swimmer for 18 months or so. But then I found myself drifting away from the sport for a while. This past weekend I finally went to a meet for the first time in a long time and it reminded me of how desperately I need competition, self-improvement, camaraderie and socialization. But, swimming has been incredibly inconsistent and I haven’t been seeing the same improvements and benefits as I had before.
One of the few things that I have been consistent with for the last year is kettlebells. I love lifting heavy and continue to lift more all the time – even if I do complain to my coach about having to carry and swing a 24kg (52.8 lbs.) bell. Everyday is a challenge – harder than the last and more satisfying as well. I do it with a friend I love to pieces, so it becomes social time with an incredibly beneficial workout.
The new thing in my life is ballet. After I was told that I’d missed my calling as a dancer, I decided to look into some sort of dance class. While there are no tutus involved (yet), there are opaque tights and leotards. <<Insert all insecurities here>>. It’s two days a week for an hour that will supply you with the worst gluteus cramp you’ve ever had in your life. The gentleman teaching it is a lifetime ballet student, able to gracefully grand jeté across the floor in his seventy-sixth year. Here’s hoping I can relevé without falling over in a year. (I am actually quite athletic, I should have this mastered shortly).
With all this on my plate – trying to swim, lift and plié twice a week apiece – I find myself sore and tired but the happiest I’ve been in ages. Dogs are always best when they’re tuckered out and I am the same way. Anytime I am doing something I love I ask, “What the hell else would I rather be doing?” And the answer is, “Nothing.”
But now I ask: When am I going to do my laundry?