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  • emilyvonjentzen

Coming Up for Air

I've been thinking about writing an update blog post for some time now. I've even started writing it several times...but the point of this blog was to update swim fans on my swimming training...and I haven't done much of that lately. But then I got to was never really just about the swimming.

Following my 2017 Flathead Lake Double Crossing, I knew I was going to ease off of heavy training and take some time to focus on some other life goals. I largely relaxed and swam for fun for most of 2018. In the fall of 2018 I became pregnant and was simply elated. I've wanted to be a mom for such a long time. Sweet little baby Hudson was born in May of 2019 after a difficult pregnancy. I swam very little during my pregnancy and for about six months following giving birth I did very little swimming. Well, maybe I should be more specific...I didn't do much resembling lap swimming in the six months after giving birth, but I have taken my little fishy swimming once a week since he was about 6 weeks old. He also enjoys a bath every night before bed. It's not too surprising to most that he is a water baby.

Some parts of the last seven months have just about made my heart burst-I've felt so happy, grateful and lucky to have gotten to be a mom to such a perfect little guy. Other parts have been the ultimate gut-check (how long can I last on just a few solid hours of sleep each night) that leave me wondering how in the world my mom managed to raise five kids and I can barely handle one! It's been a steep learning curve on some things and others have thankfully come naturally. But there is one thing that I can be absolutely certain of....

Life. Has. Changed.

Before baby, I had been quite accustomed to a very busy life, filled to the brim with so many things that brought me joy. I swam consistently 15-20 hours a week at times. I coached a masters swim team. I coached a high school swim team. I wrote online workouts. I served as race director for the Flathead Lake Swim Series. I was a SUPER dog mom taking my Labradors on numerous adventures each week. Then, pretty abruptly, I had to step back from nearly all of the extras. There is part of me that misses the freedom of being able to wake up at 5am and go swim for 2 or 3 hours without having to arrange child care or even think about how such a simple act impacts anyone else. I miss coaching. I really miss dog adventures. But I love this baby. I love the way his head falls heavy on my shoulder when he falls asleep. I love the way he buries his face into me when I get home from work and inhales like he's actually breathing me in. I love his little giggles and smiles. I love watching him wrap his daddy around his finger. I love being his mom.

So the little bits of me that have fallen to the sidelines might stay on the sidelines for a while. That's okay. I'm slowly finding some time for some of my old passions. I'm finally on a solid twice a week swimming (for me) schedule. It's only two hours a week, but it feels so good to swim. I'm very out of shape, but I've now been able to replay in my head the words of encouragement I've used on swimmers I have coached over the years who returned to the sport after absences (some much longer than my brief hiatus). It's going to take a lot of small steps and a lot of patience before I'm back to feeling like an athlete again, but I'll get there.

So I might write a blog post from time to time, but don't expect to hear anything athletically spectacular from me for a while. My goals for 2020 are modest. I want to compete at the State masters meet at the end of February. I want to lose the rest of my baby weight (20 down, 30 pounds to go) so I can fit into my wetsuit and return to open water swimming in April. I want to get back to a consistent yoga practice. But don't you worry...I've still got some big dreams rolling around in my head...

I hope to see some of you around the pool. Happy swimming!


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