Monday, May 12, 2014

Failures and Success

A yellow labrador retriver swimming

Until recently, there was not really a good way for me to define failure and success with this project. I mean, if I swim, I've succeeded, right?

Well, bad news guys, I haven't gone swimming in almost a month. Graduation is soon, so basically I have about -3 hours to myself every day. Not only have I been insanely busy, but I also no longer have a source of transportation to the Y every day. So, by my definition, I have failed this project.

But have I? While not going to the Y for a really long time is certainly a failure, I have also succeeded in a number of ways. I got pretty fit over the past 7-ish months. I became a lifeguard. I even made a new friend during my lifeguarding class. And, because of my qualifications as a lifeguard, I landed a summer job that I am really excited about! This seems to me a much better way to measure success versus failure. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Life is a journey, not a destination."

Such was this project, Ralph, such was this project. 

*photo is from*

Monday, March 24, 2014


Here's the thing. I still go swim 3 or 4 times a week. But I don't feel like I'm working towards anything anymore. I got to the point where I can do lap after lap without passing out. I became a certified lifeguard. As I get more and more busy, I'm seeing more excuses not to go swim every day. I need some new motivation.

Oh look, a website full of motivation. Perfect!

So here's the goal for this week:

I actually have school events every day after school this week, except Friday. So I'm going to make it a point to get to the Y sometime during the day on Friday. From that website, I'm going to use tip 3: Choose a habit to destroy at the pool this week. Sometimes I take unnecessary breaks between laps. I will work on that this week.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Trying to Make Working Out Sound Interesting...

So... Still swimming. I go maybe 4 times a week. Anyway, I will now take this opportunity to announce that I have started another blog. I felt that I went far enough with this project, and frankly, I have very little else to talk about. While I will both continue swimming and posting to this blog occasionally, feel free to check out my new endeavor in upcycling on my new blog: That's basically it. Have a nice day!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Week 735 or Something

So I've decided that I'm going to try to work up to swimming a mile (32 laps in a 25 meter pool - one lap is down and back, so 50 meters). Last week I was able to do 16 laps (half a mile), and yesterday I did 24 laps (3/4 of a mile). I'm having trouble remembering that swimming a mile is a lot more work than running a mile... That's the problem with being a runner rather than a swimmer I suppose. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Post Lifeguarding Boredom Disorder

I've been sitting here for so long trying to think of something interesting and swimming-related to say... I'm going swimming today. Is that interesting? No? Oh... 

Okay I found some interesting facts about swimming. Here we go.

  • When elephants swim, they can use their trunks as a snorkel. Common sense, but SUPER adorable. 
  • 65% of people in the United States don't know how to swim. 
  • The bikini was named after a U.S. nuclear testing site in the South Pacific. It was called Bikini Atoll.
  • The oldest form of swimming used was the breaststroke. 
  • Benjamin Franklin invented swim fins. Nice work, Ben.
  • Swimming became an Olympic event in 1896.
  • Synchronized swimming came to the Olympic games in 1984. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Lifeguarding Completion

Guess who's a certified lifeguard? It's me! That is all.

Okay I guess I'll tell you what I had to do. Last week, we did skill set exams. Basically, we were called into a room, given a scenario, and then we had to demonstrate how to handle it. The scenarios were things like:

  • A woman is having a stroke, but we weren't told that. We had to recognize it and show what we would do.
  • A child is choking. We demonstrate the proper procedure, and demonstrate CPR skills if the child passes out.
  • You come upon 2 unconscious victims. You have to show how you would go about caring for them.
We took written tests as well last night. They included a Lifeguarding exam, a CPR/AED (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation/ Automated External Defibrillator), and an Emergency Oxygen Administration exam. After passing all the parts of these exams, I am certified to lifeguard, use an AED, and administer CPR and emergency oxygen. I should be getting my certification card in mid-March. I'm excited! 
Above is what an AED looks like. The pads go on the chest of the victim, and it analyzes their heart rhythms and tells the rescuer if the victim need a shock, or to continue CPR.
Emergency oxygen can be given in varying concentrations, through many different devices including: 

A nasal cannula. This sits in your nose and is meant to deliver low quantities of oxygen to breathing victims who are conscious.

A BVM (Bag Valve Mask). This rests over the victim's nose and mouth, and oxygen is pumped manually into the lungs. This is meant for use on nonbreathing, with high concentrations of oxygen.

A non-rebreather mask. This covers the victim's mouth and nose, and straps on using elastic around the back of the victim's head. This is used with moderate-high concentrations of oxygen, only on breathing victims. The bag fills with oxygen, which the victim breathes in, and the exhaled air escapes through the flutter valves on the side of the mask.

A resuscitation mask with an oxygen inlet. This is held onto the face, over the nose and mouth. It is the same as the mask used for CPR, however it can be hooked up to an oxygen tank to deliver low-moderate concentrations of oxygen. It is used on victims who are having difficulty breathing, and occasionally on victims who are not breathing.

*images from*

Monday, February 10, 2014

Lifeguarding (1/3)

I am now 1/3rd of the way through my lifeguarding class. Let me just say that it is A LOT of hard work and long hours (each class is at least 4 hours). Here are some things I have done/learned:

-Rescues in shallow water
-Rescues at 9 feet 
-Entries to the water
-Rescues of unconscious victims
-Rescues (deep and shallow) of spinal injury victims
-Beginning CPR
-Lots of other things

Before I forget, Happy Valentines Week to everyone! That is all.