sunscreen, halcyon

I knew it as I dressed this morning: a telltale, blurry line of pale on paler. It was a demarcation of freckles next to the barest whisper of what could only be described as a suntan. It's not much, mind you; a 'tan' on a strawberry blonde can only be described as the barest blush of color on cream, but it is there, nevertheless.

This afternoon I came home with a sunburn, my skin smelling faintly of chlorine underneath the sunscreen tang.

You see, there's cute, and then there's a six-year-old learning to swim while wearing a shark mask and fins.


Colorado is, after all, a landlocked state. Perhaps I should have considered this before attempting the quest I did on that warm winter day, but then again, sometimes you don't get to pick your quests. Your quests pick you.

I'd realized the shaggy state of my exercise swimsuit while I was in Colorado, and thought that since it was the off-season, I might be able to find a reasonably-priced swimsuit while I was on vacation. This, of course, led to the uttering of the World's Worst Sentence, which I knew better than to say but said anyway:

Numbers to live by (regimen #6)

Suddenly I have a plethora of good news and I hardly know where to begin. It's such a rare and lovely situation; forgive me for wanting to sit back and sip it slowly, single-malt style.

The good news is that I have a trainer again. The better news is that it's the trainer I've wanted all along: yes, I'm working with Val again. Her life has calmed down enough that she has time to add back a few clients, and that calmness coincided with my decision to toss her a why-not email to see if maybe she'd still have time for me.

you are only coming through in waves (weight goal #3)

My schedule lately has dictated slightly later swims than I'd prefer. I love the serenity that comes from knowing that I am solely responsible for any and all of the waves in the pool, and I admit I find it a little funny to see the changing of the lifeguards knowing the only life they are guarding is mine.

Despite being the same people, the nine a.m. - ten a.m. guards are different than the noontime guards. Winter weekday mid-mornings discourage casual swimmers, and the only people likely to be seen jumping in the water are the regulars. Regularity brings chatter: they are the ones that come in every day, who know that Sam's wife just had a baby (and named her Megan Elizabeth) and that Tall Brian (as opposed to Dark Short Brian) is planning a road trip to Florida in a couple of weeks.


Yesterday, I faced the water for the first time in a month.

I hadn't planned on being gone this long, but sometimes life conspires with the gods, and we short, somewhat red-headed mortals have no choice but to acquiesce.

There was the preparation for dragon*con, then there was the [food poisoning | stomach flu], then the "con crud" that Jeff and I passed back and forth to each other, then the drives to/from Atlanta that bookended my trip to Colorado, and suddenly it was … October?

It stopped me short when I realized it - October, already? When did that happen?

I had been out of the gym for a month, and it was time to get back in there. I'm not done, not by a long shot, even though the photos tell me I look better now than I have in years. Still, I kept putting off renewing my swim membership, thinking that I'd just wait 'one more day' and then I'd get around to it, really…

the 'suck' crayon is back in the box

I was standing under the shower, trying (in vain) to drown out the sound of the screaming children around me, when one of them flung my shower curtain open to stare inside. What part of the closed shower curtain and running shower caused her to think my shower stall might be unoccupied, I don't know.

Six months ago, I think I would've cowered a bit. Instead, I stared back at her, soapy scrubbie in one hand and bottle of conditioner in the other, and said, "Obviously, this one's taken."

Embarrassed, she tiptoed back out of the shower stall and closed the curtain behind her, then whispered an apology.