Shark Bait. Hoohaha.

The week we were in Florida also happened to be….

SHARK WEEK

Grace – petrified of Alligators, Elevators and doing any kind of house work – LOVES shark week.  Every night she would watch show after show about vicious shark attacks.  And the next day we would get up and go to the beach.

I tried not to let it show but I was a little nervous in the water.  Which is unusual for me, I love the ocean.  I tried to keep my back towards shore, keep my eye in the water at all times.

I have always wanted to rent a SUP (that is cool speak for Stand Up Paddle Board) and had even heard people do their yoga practice on one.  As a yoga instructor this sounded like a fun challenge.

One afternoon we rented a SUP and we were able to go a little further into the water than I normally do.  I didn’t find the SUP too hard when I was the only one on it but most of the time I had a kid hitching a ride.  This makes it a little more challenging.  But we need to be clear here, the only cool moves I did on the SUP were 1.  stand up and 2. fall down.

They give you this nice paddle, oar like thing.  It was very useful in maneuvering the SUP.  Al I could think about though was “can I beat up a shark with this bad boy”.

I thought it was really fun but the next day I couldn’t walk.  My back and legs were so sore.  So much for being a gym rat.  I think the shark would have won.  My kids weren’t worried…they can swim.  Question is, would they have save me?  Good thing I didn’t have to find out.

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I want to be a Gypsy

After a two-week swim meet turned vacation that involved 6 states and 3,000 miles you would think I would be happy to be home.  I’m not.

When the kids were younger I despised road trips.  When Sophie (8) was just a baby, I would make the trek from Ohio to North Carolina alone – several times a year.  Sarah who was barely 2 was prone to car sickness.  We had this “spot” in the mountains of Virginia where she would projectile vomit.  I pulled over at the exact same stop in the mountains every single trip (both directions) to clean up.  I did get smart after the first few incidents and I moved her car seat to the passenger side.  One, two or all three were always screaming at some point in the trip.  The minivan was appointed with the required DVD player and we would watch the same movies over and over again hoping for any amount of peace and quiet.  I bought the entire stock of pacifiers from Target for Sophie and would just keep handing them back as she would lose them.  By the time we arrived at our destination the entire car floor was covered in wayward pacifiers and mashed up food particles.  I would chug wine immediately upon arrival.  I swore that I hated road trips and always promised “this would be my last”.

Fast forward 8 years.  The girls either sleep, read or listen to music in the car.  Oh, and they keep me company.  With interesting conversation.  Our life is hectic and busy and we really don’t spend as much time as we should just being in each others company.   We laughed, played trivia and belted out Taylor Swift songs.  I enjoyed the conversations but also the silence, I found a certain peace in it.  I savoured the glass of wine at the end of the trip.

I was surprised to learn most of my friends thought I was crazy for taking this journey with the girls.  I tried to reassure them that 8 years is a lot of time and much can change.  They walked away shaking their heads, not persuaded.

The last few hours of our trip we started planning next years adventure.  I am going to enjoy these moments in time while I can.   In six years Grace is off to college, two years later Sarah will be on her way and two years Sophie will leave me.  Then they will all be gone.  Chris and I would love to travel the world and hang out on beaches when they move on but at that point we will be completely broke and may have to live with one of them after paying for swimming, braces, vacations, colleges and weddings.  I hope if we are good to them now they will take pity on us someday.

In the meanwhile, I decided I want to be a Gypsy.  We can get a Winnebago and drive around the country (primarily the parts with beaches and no snow).   I am probably not mentally equipped to home school but they have all that set up on the internet these days.  Chris can be their swim coach.  We will need to figure out how to pull the 25 yard pool off the back of that thing but that’s just a small detail to be ironed out.  Totally doable.

The times don’t lie

Which my friend Sherry figured out!  She went straight to the source – USA Swimming.  I bet she peeks at presents too!

I applaud her methods.  I try to do the same. There are 3 ways for me to get an accurate time.

1.  I look at the electronic board.  If there isn’t one I
2.  Look over the rail and ask my friend Jenni, who coaches for another team but times my kids. or
3.  I try to get the kid or coaches attention.  I can read lips if you mouth it really big to me

My husband on the other hand prefers to use his Blackberry (everyone knows iphones are better).  I won’t give him too much shit, he reads this but he is the worst timer every.  He may as well use and hourglass.

She is swimming 50 back.  Shooting for a 35.59.  He gets a 35.90.  REALLY?

I only care that she gets the zone time because I know she wants it.  She has other opportunities and if that really is her time she can totally get it next time right?  But, again, this is blackberry time.  He may as well have said she got a 42.34 or a 23.45.

Thank goodness I am one of those horrible parents who buys their kid an iphone because I shortly thereafter got a three word text from her.  If you have a 12-year-old daughter you know this is chatty for this age.

I GOT IT.

Yeah!  I am back on vacation.  She got a 35.49.

Zones will cost me about $500!  That is about $14 a second.  We are going to have to get a few more now.  I will have to teach a lot of spim classes to pay for that, although I could stand the exercise after girls weekend!  I am very happy for her, she has worked really hard this year with that goal in mind.  I applaud her efforts.

Roadtrip baby!  Sherry you in?

Get your ass back home

Finally on the plane headed home. Had a great trip but can’t wait to be back in our groove. I can’t wait to sleep in my bed and go back to our half assed family dinners. Eating out kills my waistline, if we had stayed a few more days none of our shorts would have buttoned.

Every time we go on vacation we fantasize about moving there – no matter where we go! It often involves a lottery win or some other windfall. I actually looked at a 2 million dollar home at The Four Seasons in Scottsdale and found myself thinking it wasn’t big enough.

This vacation had been a little different. My snap back to reality moment wasn’t teamed with sadness. I want to go home. If I win the lottery I think I would have a hard time leaving. I like our community (house is a little small), we have a great school, kids are happy and have great friends. After switching swim clubs last year we are really happy with our team and coaches. As we were pulling into the airport Grace looked at me and said “I can’t wait to go to swim practice!”. No place like home.

Plan B is still Florida. I freaking hate snow.

Decisions, decisions

We are going on vacation for two weeks for spring break.  I feel a little guilty pulling the kids from school for meets.  Ironically enough, I feel no guilt pulling them two extra days for spring break.  We got screwed on snow days (thank goodness!) anyways.  We head west every other year and spend two weeks visiting family.

I have choices to make.

Do I?

Go Tiger Mom on the kids and make them get in the pool and do laps several times while we are away?

Cross train them with running, core work and upper body strength training?

Work the tans hard-core?

As a group fitness instructor, I work out for a living.  When I go on vacation I do exercise almost every day.  But only because I also like to enjoy good food and I hate to have it catch up to me.  As a full on lover of summer though, I like to work the tan when I can.

Decisions, decisions.  I suspect one of them is too much like me to sit around on her butt for two weeks straight.  But guess who decides?  They do!

Stay tuned, swim mom becomes vacation mom!