Things can get awkward (Week 6 Day 1-3)

Monday was a much needed day of rest. I was still riding high on my wave of accomplishment from the day before.

Tuesday I had a friend of a friend staying in our living room and despite the urge to run I resisted waking up our guest at 5 am while I got ready. Especially wanting to avoid the awkward point (Awkward number 1) when I return to the house, breathing heavily and looking like this:

Image

Scariness

Today I sought out the pool again. I endeavoured to accomplish two things:

  1. count how many laps I did so I can improve
  2. swim a continuous front crawl lap without switching strokes or having to glide for a significant period just so I can get a good breath

I failed at the first task (but I am sure I made it 10 or more laps) but I accomplished the second. For one measly lap I timed my breathing correctly so I didn’t have to resort to odd swimming techniques. But I did manage to swim for almost 30 minutes.

The weird thing about my 2 attempts into swimming is that the same gentleman in the fast lane wants to compare laps with me (Awkward number 2).

Last week

Dude: I have done 25 already. What are you at?

Me: uhhh I don’t know

Today

Dude: I have done 12 already, how many are you aiming for?

Me: uhhh I don’t know

Now I am not always quick with small talk, quick with a sarcastic zinger with friends but not with small talk. Also I am wearing a bathing suit and disliking attention while I am wearing it. I am pretty sure I will have this same conversation each week, whether I like it or not.

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Pink shirt day AKA anti-bullying day (Awkward number 3)

For some reason I am compelled to tell my own story here. This is my soapbox in the world.

I was a nerdy/dorky/geeky kid. I was bullied (not physically). I didn’t fit in.

I still panic when I think back to some of the incidents. I remember late elementary school when at lunch time the group of kids decided to make me feel awkward and stare at me the entire lunch period while I ate. I remember how my stomach fought to not lose my food as it churned with pain. I remembered the advice from my parents, “Ignore them and they will forget it and leave you alone.” I fought back tears as this was yet another blow to my fragile state. I remember the instigator and how his eyes bore into my forehead like he refused to see the pain in my eyes. The silence made me aware of my heart pounding and I blinked more than normal to try get away from that place and to just “ignore them”.

I am a stronger woman now. I have spent years ignoring them but it didn’t completely help. I have a great life but I never truly escaped.

5 years ago I had a 10 year high school reunion. One of the tormentors made a comment about me that I heard from afar. A comment about something that happened when we were in grade 4. My stomached knotted again. Sometimes they don’t just “leave you alone.”.

******************

As my daughter is now in school I fear for her. I worry.

I have hope though.

Yesterday she relayed that there are people in her class who are mean.

She told me that one girl was being mean to another. My daughter confronted the bully and said, “Do you want to be friends with me?” The bully answered, “Yes.” And my daughter continued, “Then you have to be nice to that other girl.”

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