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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Boys and Boats -- Or, It's the Great Pumpkin

I finally made it back into the pool yesterday for the first time in two weeks (having been sidelined -- in succession -- by an achy knee, a work emergency and finally the ebola/flu/respiratory bug, which has finally abated with the help of many bowls of chicken noodle soup).  After sounding like Darth Vader, Bea Arthur and Lauren Bacall, I now sound like myself again.  Just because I couldn't go in the water does not mean I couldn't find some water-themed diversions (with a little help from my friends).

Breaking Two Records in Giant Carved Out Pumpkins

The first story is courtesy of my neurologist friend the Angel, whose Anglophilia is rivaled only by his passion for Dr. Who.  Just in time for Halloween, the video tells the tale of Dmitri Galitzine, who broke two records this week.  First, he set the world record for the fastest 100M pumpkin paddle.  Later in the week, he crossed the Solent from Gosport to the Isle of Wight (near my old stomping grounds in Bournemouth) in a motorized hollowed out 500 kg pumpkin (sourced from the Mere Brown Giant Pumpkin Show in Lancashire).  Dmitri is quite a cutie, and I'm giving him credit as an honorary merman, since both records were accomplished in water.  The video is hilarious and quintessentially English -- note the correct pronunciation of "watermelon" at the very end of the video.

Warwick Rowers Calendar

My friend Tiddles alerted me to this one (naughty, Tiddles).  Also from the UK (also water related), for the sixth year in a row, the University of Warwick Boat Club has doffed its kit for a calendar in aid of Sport Allies, an outreach program which fights homophobia and bullying in schools.  What's wrong with a little bit of beefcake, if it's for a good cause?  You can order the calendar here.  And I've included a video sneak peek.  It's a little racy (don't watch it at the office) but they featured excerpts of the video on Good Morning America, so I figure it's safe for Metropolitan Mermaid.  Note -- I learned how to embed videos for this post ;-)

Warwick Rowers 2014 Calendar: Get a sneak peek at your year ahead with us! from Progressive Media on Vimeo.

Back to the office and back to the pool again tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Propos of Nothing -- A Rant About Kale

I have been out of the pool for more than a week due to a bad flu/ebola-like cold (I am convinced that patient zero was the cherubic toddler who sneezed on me two weeks ago on the M79).  Thanks to the miracle of antibiotics, I hope to be back in action by Thursday.  I really miss the exercise (that says alot).  I have consumed so much chicken noodle soup that my local ramen shop will be sad to see me go back to work.

In the meantime, I stumbled across "Can We Please Stop Talking About Kale Now?" -- it amused me to no end, in light of my health/self-improvement efforts over the past year.  Where the Mermaid's health is concerned, "Jewish Penicillin" (in this case, made by a guy named Yoshi) trumps kale any time.  Even if I still sound like Darth Vader.


- MM

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Super Mermaid Swims in Herald Square

Work has been insanely busy in the past couple of weeks (for reasons that those who know me will understand) and I've been grumpy and neglecting the blog.  Luckily I haven't been neglecting my workouts (I did miss one class due to a work emergency but that is the first one I've missed for work reasons in 10 months -- I count that as major personal progress).   My knee has been tetchy, so I need to stick with it.  On Friday, I did a closet purge and donated the clothes that are now way too big for me to charity -- so there is no turning back!

While I was stuck at my desk on Wednesday, Diana Nyad (one of my heroes) was swimming back in forth in a special lap pool in Herald Square, finishing up a 48 hour charity fundraiser for Sandy Relief.  As of today (October 12) she has raised nearly $110,000 for Americares.  For more information or to make a donation, click here.

My fabulous deep water running coach Robert Valentin swam up a storm this summer (including swimming around Liberty Island, across the East River, and down the Hudson to Lower Manhattan).  It cheered me up (and brought me out of my work-induced funk) to see that he spent part of Wednesday in the pool with Diana.  He was chosen to swim as part of his volunteer work with Air Force vets.

Robert swims with Diana Nyad

A post swim hug
He told me that after they swam, Diana commented that he has very positive energy.  I agree completely -- he rocks (he is a great coach).  I think some of that positive energy rubbed off on me when I made it to deep water running on Thursday night.  I told him we should have done a deep water running flash mob in the Herald Square pool.

Hoping to try a couple of new classes in the next few weeks, and I am almost done with the long-awaited Vancouver Part 2.