:: eye of the storm ::

About Me

A 27-year-old PA student who wants to visit all seven continents, write a book, work at a pediatric clinic in Africa, and basically meet as many of the world's challenges as possible.

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current mood:
current mood

Life List

(already accomplished)

Become a PA

Visit all 7 continents

Take a SwimTrek trip

Bike through Western Europe

Raft the Grand Canyon

Improve my Spanish proficiency

Go on safari in Africa

Trace my roots at Ellis Island

Vacation in Hawaii

Work on a hospital ship in a Third World country

Celebrate New Year's in Times Square

Visit all 50 states (29 to go: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY)

See the ruins at Pompeii

Swim in Capri's Blue Grotto

Tour Mt. Vesuvius

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

Tour the Colosseum

Visit the D-Day beaches

See the Mona Lisa

Visit the palace at Versailles

See the Acropolis and Parthenon

See the Egyptian pyramids

Hike the Inca Trail

Walk El Camino Santiago

Take an Alaskan cruise

View the Taj Mahal at sunrise

Hike Table Mountain in South Africa

Climb through the Amazon canopy

Walk at least part of the Great Wall of China

Get laser hair removal

Learn to surf, ski, and snowboard

Learn to drive a stick-shift

Learn to play the piano

Go on a tropical cruise

Ride horseback on the beach

Ride in a hot air balloon

Get tickets to the Olympics

Go to adult Space Camp

Witness a shuttle launch from up close

Build a full-sized snowman

Sew a quilt out of my old race T-shirts

Update and continue my Life Scrapbook

Become the oldest person to ever do the River Run

Live to be a happy, healthy 100 years old - at least!

(unlikely dreams)

dinsdag 3 mei 2005

I'm only 21 years old, but I'm getting really sick of constantly leaving my friends behind. It started in 2002, when everyone from high school was scattered to the winds; I went to UF, made a few friends from classes during the fall, then promptly lost touch with most of them when we moved into the spring semester. I met new people, then lost contact with them, too, when I studied in the Netherlands. There, I had to put effort into reconnecting with people I hadn't seen in ages as well as try to meet new people (in a totally different language, to boot). Somehow I succeeded, and had a pretty good network of friends over there - and then in June I flew a continent away and lost touch with those pals too. Junior year, I moved into the famous Apartment 56 and made friends with Renate, Charlotte, and Piia, as well as all the people in my classes. Then Charlotte and Piia left midyear, we shifted semesters, and Fabienne and Hanna showed up. Carolyn R. (from class) and Renate (from home) were the two solid links I maintained - especially Renate, since we were both always at the pool - and then I started swimming with Club Alligator Swim Team and met Anna, Lauren, Nika, Jenna, and that whole crowd. They're great girls, and I saw them every night during practice, so we got pretty close. But now I'm back in Jacksonville and all those people are gone, too. I've been especially missing Renate these couple of days, and I couldn't figure out why I should be, because although we're great friends, there were also lots of times when she drove me absolutely nuts (remember my posts about the Cereal Wars... her acting like she's the only one who ever does any chores... that awful authoritative tone of voice even when she's wrong...?). I was glad to be rid of Kristen and Scott at the end of freshman and sophomore years, glad to be back on my own, back on 'familiar territory' - so why was this different? Well, tonight I went to swim with a Masters team here in town - and thus had to try to buddy up with all new people - and I figured out why. It's the whole 'straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back' thing. It's not completely Renate per se that I miss - it's just the fact that I am once again essentially friendless, until I build up the old and new networks again. I'm good at meeting people, don't get me wrong - I just wish I had a few friends who stuck around for longer than one stinking semester. Elise and I have put some effort into reconnecting lately, but that's about it. I tried to call Lauren, a Gainesville friend who lives in Jacksonville, but couldn't get ahold of her; same for Faith, a high school friend whom I thought might be home for the summer. It feels like I've just been abandoned by everyone that I consider to be a friend, and like I'm the only one making an effort to try to stay in touch and stay close. If I do end up spending time with them - i.e. if I get ahold of Lauren and we go swimming, or if I do another Gainesville biathlon in July and see Renate, or if Faith ever calls me back - then they'll be happy to see me, sure, but mark my words, they will not make any effort to set anything up in the future. It always has to come from me. Most of the time, I don't really mind that - but I would like to feel like there are at least a few people in the world who hold me in the same esteem as I hold them, and who WANT to spend time with me and WANT to keep in touch with me despite distance and/or time. Unfortunately - again, with the possible exception of Elise - I haven't found anyone like that yet. And it SUCKS.

But anyway, aside from all that, I had a pretty nice day. A couple of annoying tasks got taken care of - I signed up for the GRE (Thursday at 13:00!), Mom and I closed the 'extra' bank accounts Catie and I never use, plus we took my car in to get its 50,000-mile service (*sniff*... my widdle baby's all gwown up!"). That chore turned out to make my day, because just as I finished talking to the guy who was checking me in, a second guy came out of the office behind us and went, "Can I ask you a question?"
"What sport do you play?"
I laughed, "Is it that obvious?" (I was wearing a racerback top, so my shoulders and arms were out there for the world to see.)
"Uh, yes. 'Cause we're inside taking bets, and I said it was either swimming or some kind of triathlon."
I grinned, "You got it - swimming. I do do some sprint triathlons and biathlons occasionally, but my main sport is swimming."
"Well, it's very obvious - be proud of it!"

That conversation made my entire day. Then Mom and I hit Old Navy and Dillards and loaded up on tank tops (six! They were on sale...) and shorts. Like Mom said, I've got my summer wardrobe now... tank tops in red, white, black, two shades of blue, and, my favorite, green-and-pink stripes (would you believe I took a small in that???), plus shorts in khaki and two shades of denim. I had to pitch out all of my non-elastic-waist shorts, because they were way too big. The three I just got are juniors' elevens, so I'm verrrry happy. :)

Anyway, then I went and swam with that team - apparently there are only two adult teams in Jacksonville, this one and one at UNF (which only swims twice a week for an hour). Holmes Lumber Jax, the one I'm swimming with, practices three times a week for an hour and a half, so while it's not the frequency I'm used to, it's enough to give me something to work with. And the workouts are good; after the warm-up, we started off with two reps of a 400 IM (kick down, swim back) with fins, then a 200 easy free. That's perfect for me; tough without being impossible. (If it had been a normal IM with no kick, now... no way!) But I'm in lane 4, lane 5 being the fastest, and I have to work hard to keep up, which is how I want it. Part of me likes being the fastest one in a lane, but the rational part of me knows I have to keep pitting myself against faster and faster swimmers if I want to keep moving up. I'm the youngest one I've seen so far (a 29-year-old guy called me a 'young-un'), but that's okay; at least the level and intensity seem suited to me. I do have to work on setting up some of my own workouts, though, because I need to have my weekly yardage equal the distance I'm training to swim. Channel swimmers, for example, are training for a 21-mile swim, made much longer by currents and tides, so they usually swim around 45-50,000 yards per week (25.7-28.5 miles). I'm working towards Key West, which is 12.5 miles, so I need to swim 20,000 meters a week (yeah, meters - in the summer, swimming is done in long-course). At 3500 per workout, that's only 10,500 meters (6.5 miles) per week. I can replace some of it with dry-land, but not a lot. I need to try to call Nika and Lauren and set up a regular day with each of them to swim our normal 4,000-yard workout somewhere. If I do that, I'll be up to about 17,500 meters, and that's good enough preparation for a race like this one. I just hope work doesn't throw me for too many loops when it comes to my schedule - I hope I get a regular timetable and get to stick to it.

Anyway, I suppose this is long enough for now... I'll mosey on to bed now and curl up with my book.

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