Thursday, January 23, 2014

The New Normal is Unknown

My last post went through Tuesday the 14th. Things have been a little hectic since then. You've read that before, right? Well, let me finish last week and then I'll tell you about it.

Wednesday I lifted weights, worked on rehabbing my right leg, and had my first Film as Literature class of 2014. In the past, I have taken the students on a field trip the first night of the course. This time we watched our first movie instead. The selection for the night was, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, a 1962 western starring John Wayne and James Stewart. This offering is not as high on the cinema scale as the films we usually watch, however, it was chosen for historical and artistic reasons to lead off our discussions.

While at work Thursday morning, I got a text from my wife informing me that my mother-in-law was in the emergency room. Life has not been the same since, for her or us. More about that later. That night, however, I went to DSU and swam

20 X 100 @ 3:00 (heart rate set)
end of Masters. Alone I swam
5 X 100 @ 2:00 pull
10 X 100 @ 2:00 pull and paddles of various sizes
Total: 5,000 scy = 4,570 meters.

Friday I lifted weights (chest and back) and did 14:00 minutes on the bike trainer. I am so out of shape that I was sucking air while pulling 60 watts on my bicycle.

Saturday I spent 16:00 on the bike trainer and did some rehab work on the right leg. Back to my mother-in-law.

She had a stroke, is paralyzed on one side, and is in severe pain. She moans, she screams, she fights, attempting to pull out her IVs and feeding tube. She can't talk or eat. Staying with her is stressful and emotionally wrecking.

Already, I spend two nights a week with my mom and do other things for her. With my job and Mom, I still had time to train for the Chicot Challenge. Now I am staying an additional night at the hospital with my mother-in-law and making other trips up there. We are still in the early stages of learning to cope with our new situation. I don't know what the future holds. I suppose that is always true, but at times like this, you know with a whole new clarity.

I'm not complaining, I'm just explaining that the Chicot Challenge is challenged and I probably won't know for some time if I will be able to pull it off. That, however, was the case with the very first one I did in 2012. Mom was in the hospital in Jackson much of the early months of that year. I just went out and trained as much as I could when I had the chance. It worked out and my guess is it will work out this year also, but I won't know until the time draws much closer. I am scheduled to stay at the hospital tonight, but I still am going to squeeze in a trip to the pool first. I think that's what the Brits on Did You Swim Today? (a Facebook site for swimmers) call a "cheeky" swim.

For the week of 1/13 to 1/19, I

swam 8,408.8 meters,
pedalled 55:00 minutes on the bike trainer, and
lifted weights three times.