I was a YMCA kid. Memories of my childhood include Saturday mornings at the Y. Entering the lobby greeted by the smell of chlorine, squeak of basketballs and shouts of children. In the winter I swam on the swim team. This meant that after school and before dinner 3 nights a week I was in the water. Later playing outside in the snow, hoping my wet hair would freeze before I had to go home. Later being in trouble for not drying said hair, "What is wrong with you child you will die from pneumonia!"
My dear friend Denise re-introduced me to the YMCA when inviting me to exercise with her on a guest pass. The St. Louis South City YMCA later became the place where I found and learned balance for my life. I am certain that I would not have been able to complete my cardiology fellowship without that pool. With each stroke I was able to beat out frustration and under water the silence helped me to hear my voice of determination.
I guess it is because of the emotion and reflection experienced between the flip turns that my memories of certain swims are so vivid. After my wrist surgery- cleared to remove the hard brace and find the strength of my wrist. After hip surgery- negotiating the deck on crutches then making my way down the stairs to weightlessness. Walking then running in the water.
My decision to join faculty at MUSC; this interesting plan to take my first job, move across country and have a baby in six months- was not made without consideration of the proximity of my new office to the Wellness Center pool. All of the way into my third trimester I waddled into that water. Interesting observations of normal physiologic changes of pregnancy. Hmmmm..... a bit more buoyant around the middle, definitely decreased respiratory capacity, oh my goodness whose feet are those?!!?
So today I was again, back in the water. Returning the the Wellness center, re-entering the world of fit hard bodied happy people. Note to self bring different suit, one left in locker is a bit too stretchy and, well shabby. Swimming without Zach was strange. The whole time I was thinking of him, about how this swim required planning and felt like stealing time. It was good though, I felt like each stroke really counted. An opportunity to take inventory, clear the cob webs from the mind and get moving again.
Okay, well maybe not a party animal..... considering that he slept the entire time. We were invited to a Oyster Roast, hosted by one of my partners at his home. It was a amazing party with a live band, great food and drinks- it was an Ikon Holiday 2008. It was fun to see everyone from work- it seems like I have been gone for months. Little 3 week old Zach was a hit- which comes as no surprise.
"Just look at him!" - Melanie The Bride and Groom to be..... Jim and Amanda
Jack and Walt digging into steamin' Oysters Benny and Sharon It was a beautiful night, chilly but clear. Here we are conspiring to send John on sabbatical next summer so that we may "house sit" by the pool. Jen, Benny and Melanie Pam and Pete seeing Zach now remember how tiny Charlie was as a newborn, and are excited for #2's arrival. Aunt Kathy meets Zach.... the rare moment that he was awake- although eyes are still closed in this picture.
It all started circa 1982 in a small three bedroom ranch in the suburbs of Detroit. Breakfast would linger on into early afternoon sitting around my Grandma and Grandpa Cook's kitchen table. Sometimes my father would be engaged in heated discussion with Grandpa about the economy, the Lions, or the best way to drive from Westland to Cherry Hill. Other times my cousins would join me for what now is remembered as treasured moments with Grandpa.
Have you ever seen a percolator? The type of coffee maker that the grounds go in the top and the water is boiled in the bottom? It makes the best bubbling sound as it brews. The entire house would smell of coffee, and as little ones my cousins and I would pull up our chairs for a cup. As we waited we would spoon scoops of sugar and a half cup of cream into our mugs. Then Grandma would come with the coffee, serving each of our little bodies as if we were grown ups. Then Grandpa would start the conversation with a probing question such as, "So what type of lunch do they serve you in school?", or "What did you see on the trip to the zoo?" As we sipped our coffee we would share the details of our lives.
Despite the precocious introduction to coffee I did not become a regular drinker until college. (This was pre- Starbucks era). Then I had one of those 4-cup jobbies that held a prominent position in my dorm room. The peak was in med school just as java hit the mainstream. The day could not start without a Venti and at times I needed a Grande in the afternoon to keep the caffeine withdrawal monster at bay. By the time I interviewed for fellowship I had plenty of company in my coffee obsession, as often the hospital tour would include the location of the coffee cart.
It was quite disturbing when I became pregnant and developed a strong aversion to coffee. I can remember one morning walking into the Lab and passing the kitchen. I stopped in my tracks when assaulted by the worst smell. I feared that a mouse had escaped and died... but upon further investigation I realized it was the smell of fresh brewed coffee! This cannot be. Not a big deal since I could not have too much caffeine anyway- but I still missed my moments with the hot cup, rich smell and smooth taste.
When we moved into our house we realized that the coffee maker has not been used in months. In fact after Zach was born we actually discovered we forgot how to use it- preposterous because it really is not that complicated. We have a perfectly evolved set up- the grinder with removable canister, BUNN coffeemaker (fresh pot in 90 seconds) with bulk supply of special filters and fresh beans in the freezer. As you can see I am back in business, and am in my element as I type away with mug of coffee in hand.
My friends have been amazed (and possibly a little jealous) to learn that Zach loves to sleep. Now meal time (q2 hours) is a team effort to undress, massage, tickle and awaken the little guy in order to eat. You hear about the absolute adoration that comes from breast feeding- where as you stare into the newborn's eyes and make a special connection. Let's just say to this point I have bonded with the backs of his eyelids. They are very cute eyelids, however. Here is a photo of all 3 of my boys catching a nap together.
Nov 23rd, +74 lbs (ouch) Nov 27th, - 15 lbs (+59) Dec 4th, - 8 lbs (+51) -23 Started Weight Watchers Dec 11th, - 4 lbs (+47)-27 Dec 22nd, - 3 lbs (+44)-30 Dec 29th, zero lbs (+44)-30 Jan 5th, - 3 lbs (+41)-33 Jan 26th, -5 lbs (+36)-38 Feb 2, zero (+36)-38 Feb 9, -3 (+33)-41 Feb 16, -2 (+31)-43 Feb 28, -3 (+28)-46 Mar 9, -4 (+24)-50 Mar 16, +2 (+26)-48 Mar 23, -1 (+25)-49 April 13, -5 (+20)-54 Stopped POINTS May 1, -5 (+15)-59 May 8, -1(+14)-60 May 22, -1(+13)-61 June 19, -9(+4)-70 July 9, +3(+7)-67 Well, not done yet July 16, -4(+3)-71 July 30, -3.....-74 pounds!!