29 Sept 2015 – Super General Assembly!
The super, blood, and harvest moon has come, been eclipsed and gone. And, coincidentally this year, so has the UN General Assembly, which was also supercharged this year. More so than I can remember in past years, and so much so that I might even go out on a limb and call it a super, blood, and harvest UN General Assembly year, only to be repeated ever 30 or so years. Ok, I exaggerate (probably on account of the fact that I just finished Bossypants by Tina Fey today and I have just this little desire to be as funny as she is). But this year still carried extra weight with the Pope making an appearance and then a big deal seemed to be made of President Obama’s speech followed by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech and then their agree not to agree meeting that followed.
Ok – let me be clear. The only reason I am talking so much about the UN General Assembly is because it intrudes upon my life every September since I live half a block away from the UN complex and every September for three days I have to show an ID to walk down my street to my apartment and undress and get into bed.
Tons of barricades and policeman descend on my neighborhood, as well as hoards of people with lanyards and cameras looking very important and also waiting to show IDs to walk down my street, the only difference being that they only come here once a year and walk over to the UN whereas I live here. And because of this (yes, I will admit this now) I feel a little superior. I may not be a world-traveled journalist or an important country VIP with a special pass to the UNGA, but I am a bona fide New Yorker who resides on 46th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues, half a block away from the UN. I have a right to be here!
But…let’s be honest. If I were living only 5 block north or west or south (not East because then I would be in the East River) I would have no care for the UNGA because it would not impinge on my lifestyle at all. Somehow due to random luck and chance, I ended up on this block. And so here I am, every September, forced to contemplate the UNGA, simply because I must remember to bring ID to enter my street to go home. It is a gentle reminder every year that life is an odd combination of your own making coming into contact with lives of other people’s makings. It is not a bad thing. In fact, it is quite good. Random encounters of our pre-planned lives with other unknown pre-planned lives are what move us out of our expected trajectory and propel us into a new direction. Change is sometimes not welcome, but change, ultimately, is a good thing. We must adjust and adapt or risk being left behind.
Today was a tough day at work. Letting someone go, even if it is completely justified performance-wise, it is never easy to do. I wanted to go run during lunch to get everything out of my mind and come back with a clean slate. But I bagged it all. As I was getting ready to go run, I realized I had too much work to do. Also I told myself that I this is my off-season, so it’s ok to back down to one workout a day! (Oh! I know how idiotic that sounds!) But it’s true. Sometimes I have to tell myself to back off from the workouts. And that’s what I did today. And that’s what I will continue to do until the new year. And that is good for me. This is a time of finding balance and moderation. Next year as I gear up for the next swimming season, there will be plenty of times to do double-workouts!
And also, I have been tired from my idiotic sleeping schedule, so I was also physically tired from having gone to bed at 11p, and then woken up at 12:30a, 2a, 3:10a, 4:05a, and then finally with the alarm at 5:30a. Needless to say, after the day and the highly interrupted sleep, I was also ready to bag the swim workout after work. But I had promised Andrey, my trusted swim partner in NYC, to swim tonight. So that was that. Even though I wanted to completely flake out, I went. And in the process, I ran into Patrick, my old swim coach on the subway. What I nice surprise! (Or maybe coincidence?) Horrible subway system and delays aside. It was great to catch up with him.
I got up to the pool deck at 6:34 and managed to jump in at 6:40p. Andrey was actually early at 6:50p. I had hoped to get at least 1,600 before he arrived, but I was only at 800 when I saw him stroll out on deck. I was having a terrible time in the lane. The age groupers were doing stroke and they were kicking up quite a wave. And then the fast lane was populated with wanna-be fast swimmers who had some idea of lane etiquette, but nevertheless were still reeking havoc with my workout. When Andrey finally showed up, I told him I was done!
Of course I wasn’t. He got in. Warmed up. Then we started on our no-breathers. Another thing I would never do on my own. So tonight is a thanks to Andrey for getting me to the pool and getting me to do eight no-breather underwaters! And yes, tonight is a thanks the UNGA for keeping me abreast of public and world affairs! And a thanks to the super, blood, and harvest moon for providing a beautiful image to experience without any thought. No thought, just emotion.
Tonight’s workout. Warm-up was 400 free, 400 pull, 400 kick. (Andrey showed up after my 400 pull). Then it was 2x (4x [25 no-breathers, 25 easy on 1:00], 200 breathe every 5 strokes). Then we stopped and kvetched about the lane swimmers, especially the obnoxious one who seemed determined to sit at the end of lane and only go on the heels of someone else. Andrey and I had a good laugh about that. And then I suggested 4×125: 75 stroke or IM/50 free. That would get us another 500. With a 200 warm-down, that would get me to 2,700 and Andrey to 2,000. Not a bad workout for two somewhat reluctant swim partners, neither of whom had wanted to go to the pool at all.