Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Hi, All!  Welcome to my blog.  I've decided to start this thing because...well, I thought it would be fun.  Cool.  Interesting.  Cathartic.  Boring.  New.  Different.  Exciting.  Well, at least ONE of those things.  Maybe some more things.  We shall see.  A bit of background on me.  I'm Connie.  I'm a former competitive swimmer.  I was okay at swimming back in the day. 

I got a scholarship to swim to a DI university.  Not a good swimming school by any stretch of the imagination.  At all.  But, I did it.  They paid (a bit) for some of my education for two years.  Then I quit.  Lots of reasons why.  Mostly I just wanted to be a "regular" college student.  That was a while ago.  A VERY  L O N G  while ago.  I graduated. 

I got a job.  I needed a better job.   One "with benefits" as my father told me. I got one.  I became a flight attendant.  I was able to see "some" of the world.  It was fun.  For a time.  I met a boy.  Well, a man.  We fell in love.  We got married. We had a daughter.  We had a son.  I started swimming again.  I did a triathlon.  I loved it.  But, I quit.  Again.

I got a few other jobs here and there.  Never a career.  Just jobs.  Then, in the middle of one of those jobs....I got pregnant.  Again.  Seven years AFTER I had my first son, I had another son.  Surprise!  It kind of reminded me of that one woman show that Julia Sweeney did a few years ago...And, God said, 'Ha!' (Or something along those lines), here I was.  Raising babies...toddlers...children....  Getting FAT.  Doing nothing.  For ME.  I had lots to do.  I was busy...plenty busy.  Diapers. Gymnastics.  TaeKwonDo.  Baseball.  Volleyball.  All for the kids.  I really enjoyed it.  Truly, I did.  I do.  Still.  (Okay, maybe not the diaper part so much)

My daughter grew up.  She graduated from high school.  I never showed her I could do anything.  Not really.  Nothing for ME.  Nothing that showed that I mattered to ME.  I'd tell her plenty. I'd say, "You should value you.  You don't want to HAVE to be dependent on a man. For money.  For confidence.  For self-worth.  For self-love."  But, I NEVER showed her.  Not once. Shame on me.  Truly....SHAME on me!!!

This finally "HIT" me this past summer.  She had been through a first love heartbreak a few years ago.  Another separate yet still bad experience with a boy.  She would say, "Why aren't any of the boys like Dad?"  I would say, "Because your father is wonderful. Loving. Caring. Honest. Honorable. Funny. Hysterically funny. Unique."  They don't make many men like my husband.  Really, I am beyond lucky to have found this guy.

But, through all of these experiences with my daughter, I discovered that I had failed.  She had seen what a wonderful man her dad is.  That was very clear.  Yet, I had not shown her that I, too, was wonderful.  That I was capable.  I thought about this.  About my many failures as a woman.  As a mother.  As an EXAMPLE.  And, then I thought...have I EVER been good at ANYthing? 

The light bulb flickered.  Then, it glared.  Swimming...I was good at swimming.  So, I started swimming again.  A few laps here and there during the "safety break" (aka "adult swim") at our local community pool.  It felt good.  It was very difficult.  VERY.  V E R Y.  I was slow.  I was fat.  But, the thing about swimming is that even if you're fat, that's okay.  Fat floats.  Easily.  So, as hard as it was, it was easy.  I'd set small goals. 10 laps during safety break.  12 laps during the next safety break.  14....16...20.  I started going to the pool even without my children.  They had early hours for lap swimming.  They had late hours for lap swimming.  I went.  Not all the time.  Not every session.  But, I went.  Then, summer was over.  Now what???

Again, I am lucky. Lucky to be in a part of the Houston area where they have an unbelievably good swimming program.  For age groupers (aka kids).  I swam here waaayyyy waaayyy waaayyyy long ago when I was first starting to swim competitively.  They have a beyond beautiful facility associated with the school district.  The Conroe ISD Natatorium.  They have open swim.  You can join like you do a gym or health club and you can swim.  I did it.  But, they also have an amazingly large and good Masters swimming team, too. So, I joined The Woodlands Masters Swim Team, too. Now, I go at least four times a week and swim.  I love it.  It makes me feel good. Physically.  Mentally.  Emotionally. 

I'm hoping that this shows my daughter and my sons that I can be good at something.  That I can be good at swimming.  That I can be more.  That I have self-worth.  That I matter.  So, through this blog, I will show you (or, maybe just myself) that I am CAPABLE. 

So, I have entitled this blog "Reaching for the Wall".  Many of you are runners, cyclists, triathletes.  The wall is something you usually AVOID.  It's a hurdle.  It's an obstacle.  It's something you have to get OVER. It's a bad thing.  But, you see, in swimming, the wall means you're done.  You have reached your goal. You have made it to the end.  Your point.  THE point.

Remember on August 16, 2008 in Beijing?  Michael Phelps v. Michael Cavic in the 100 m butterfly.  The race came down to the end.  The last second.  The last tenth of a second.  The last ONE-HUNDREDth of a second.  It was all about who got to the wall first.  Who was reaching for the wall?  We know how that one ended.  Remember the photo from Sports Illustrated the following week?  The man who was "Reaching for the Wall"...well, he....WON.


  1. Well, you KNOW I just LOVE this~! And, the title of the blog? Absolutely perfect! Keep reaching, Connie! xoxoxo

  2. So glad you're writing. I can't wait to follow along!

  3. I am SO proud of you! Capable? I've known it all along! All 20 years, 230 days. Well, more actually... This is awesome. I am, and always will be your #1 fan!

  4. this is fantastic Connie!!...keep "reaching"!!

  5. Connie, you're not only a Swimmer, you're a Writer as well!

  6. Connie, this is a great way to open up your blog. I really admire your reasons for getting back into swimming and getting back into shape. (I have some similar reasons for a lot of the steps I have taken in the last year.) I really don't think any of that made you a failure, though. Parenthood is rewarding but difficult. It hard enough to find time to do everything you want with your kids let alone find time to take care of yourself. That being said, I really think you are a wonderful role model for your children.