Thursday, July 2, 2015

I need your help for something very shallow

Two posts, one day, but I need your help! I want a pair of white sneakers for the summer. Should I get....

Converse low top canvas All Stars
 Or Adidas Superstars in white

I can't decide. I like both equally but I only need one pair of white shoes. There's so much at stake here!

Converse Pros/cons: cheaper than the Adidas by about $30, have a sleeker outline but at the same time might make me look like I want to be a S8tr Grl, which just is not the case.

Adidas pros/cons: leather material all over versus canvas so they might look white longer, I used to have a pair like this in middle school so the nostalgia factor is strong, but they are more expensive and have a bulkier look....

Ok that's all I have. VOTE!

Letting Go of Sentimental Items

I used to swim. For 12 years of my life it was who I was. It took up my summers, my weekends, and weeknights. I breathed water. I sweat chlorine.

An average practice was between 4,500-6,000 yards. For simplicities sake we'll say 5,500/practice, 5-8 times per week, nearly every week for 12 years of my life. That works out to approximately 12,000 miles. Through those thousands of miles I made great friends, had many triumphs and  as many disappointments.

In fact, my swimming career ended on a low note in 2008 when I failed to qualify for Division III Nationals my senior year of college. I woke up sick the morning of the qualifying meet and swam my events slower than I had in high school. I cried into my dad's arms in the stands afterwards. 

Of course the sum total of my experience is more than that last subpar shebang, so don't cry for me Argentina. Along with lifelong friends, swimming gave me an awesome resting heart rate and something I can't describe eloquently enough to do it justice. It was a part of me. It still is.

The very same night I boohooed over my miserable performance, my teammates and I celebrated with all the beer we could get our freshly turned 21 hands on.  There was an incredible sense of relief to be done with the sport that had dictated the previous decade of my life. I was ready to move on, but I saved my race suits.
This pink and black number is still hanging out with me to this day.
Of course I haven't worn them since that day in 2008. These particular suits are fast skins. Read: really expensive, only meant for the "big show." Even if I were to take up swimming for exercise, I still would have no need for these suits. They aren't made for long-term repetitive use...It would be like wearing your game day uniform to practice. You just don't.

Now, eight years later, here I am on this minimalist kick and I finally feel ready to get rid of them, but how? Throwing them in the trash feels unceremonious and wasteful. But the thought of them rotting in a landfill breaks my heart in more ways than one.

I consulted a fellow former teammate and friend. Turns out she still has a few fast skins she's holding on to for reasons similar to my own: the memories they hold, the expense of buying them, the inability to donate them to a second hand athletics store, because well, they're basically used skivvies. So we decided to burn them. When I go back to Ohio next, we're going to light our suits on fire and say cheers to swimming over a bonfire and beers.

I'm so appreciative to swimming for everything it gave me, but it's not my life anymore. So here's an ode to that girl. To those swim suits. To all the hard work, heartbreak and thrills. But it's time to clear space for more.

Some tips that have helped me prepare for the great sentimental throw away:

Read this article for perspective.
Take a picture of it
Write about it (personal journal, blog post, whatever...)
Enlist support from friends to join you in a booze-fueled-fire ceremony to commemorate the good times. Fire and booze optional. Friend support not.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How I know it's Summer

Apart from the blazing hot-hot heat and the date on the calendar, how do I know it's officially Summer? Well...
  • A stranger has told how sunburned I am when I'm actually not. Thank you grocery store clerk, though, for your concern but this is just my natural rosy complexion. Now ring up my lettuce and let me be on my merry way.
  • Freezing at work all the time. High temps means cranked up AC means shivering Shelly. Take regular breaks outside to thaw.
  • Diet consisting mainly of popsicles and Moscow mules. It's healthy, look it up.
  • I have poison ivy.