For Auld Lang Syne

To round out the year today, I went to spin class and then swam after. Both workouts were good, although swimming was more challenging than I had expected. I swam a total of 3,200 meters. A group of four of us swam most of the workout together. It was a repeat of 100 meters with varied send offs and objectives. We started with 100 meter free on a 2:10 send off – I stayed at 1:55 with swimming freestyle and pulling I came in at 1:50. Then we did 100’s where the last 25 meters were fast, then the last 50, and so on until all out on 100. Again, I held my own. The last set did me in and also frustrated me. The goal was 10 x 100’s with one 25 meter leg being non-free on a 2:15 send off. There was my shortfall. I knew I couldn’t keep the send off just swimming and adding backstroke. The first set I touched in at 2:13 and then back out two seconds later. I had to put on fins to keep up and I do not prefer to swim with fins. It makes the swim too easy, but it was the only way I could make the 2:15 send off and have 15 to 18 seconds to recover. I finished early with cramps in my legs from the fins and lots of frustration.

In retrospect when I talked with my friend after we finished I should have either asked to extend the send off to 2:20 or only swim 75 meters instead of 100. Truth be told, my pride got in the way. I still feel slow compared to the others and I didn’t want to hold them back. A lesson learned today – I am training to improve my ability and have fun. Sometimes modifications are necessary to allow both to occur. As 2012 winds down, I am reminded that every day brings something to learn. The joy in the day for me was being able to celebrate my friend’s birthday with two strong workouts.

With the end of the year, I have done a little reflecting. My workouts today are good examples of my experience this year. In the past there have been years that I bid a good riddance and never wanted to look back. In retrospect, I have to question was it really the events of the year that made it that way, or how I perceived it? I could easily select events from 2012 in my life to cast gloom – my post on bruises yesterday detailed a few trials in running and triathlon. Additionally I have dealt with a few lost friendships, a bit of heartbreak, and I continue to struggle with a challenge that has been with me for years. But I have also grown so much this year – I am a stronger athlete, I am learning more on how to prepare and race well, I truly have the most thoughtful and caring friends (yes, plural) anyone could ask for, I have joy in my healed heart, and I am setting boundaries to enhance the pleasant interactions in my life and limit the challenges.

There is very little I have control over, but I still have choices. I can focus on the misfortune, cast blame on others for why life is not treating me as I think it should, or make judgements to bring people down. This would lead to a life of sadness, emptiness, and most likely loneliness. What I do have control over is my attitude, how I choose to react, the time I am willing to spend with those most dear to me, and the values I choose to guide me. These are choices I have to make every day – and I am the first to admit I often fall short. Not everything may turn out as I would prefer, but there are lessons in life – I just have to open my eyes and see them as I continue to learn every day. So to answer the question in the well know song we will sing tonight:

Should old acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne?(times gone by)

My answer is no – the memories should be cherished. Both good and bad, the lessons are priceless. Wishing you a Happy New Year filled with many joyful days – seize them.

4 thoughts on “For Auld Lang Syne

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  1. I’m very glad I found your blog this year and have really enjoyed your outlook and perspective on life. I think this post is one of the best as there truly is little in life that we can ultimately control. You are right in saying the only thing we really can control is how we react and our decision to either close our hearts or open them to the events unfolding in front of us.

    It is all about choosing to be happy and enjoying the experiences along the way. Happy New Year to you and I look forward to reading more as 2013 kicks off.

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