September 11, 2014

Heretofore Unimagined Goals

I'm not much of a goal-setter. Setting goals involves planning (shudder). I am not a planner. Inconsistency is my game.

I'm a procrastinator, and I'm good at it. Oh sure, I have the occasional good intention where I end up making some lameass attempt at getting organized, but it never lasts for long.

My follow-through skills have the shelf life of SnapChat.

Not only do I not set goals, if I were ever going to set a goal, I'd never broadcast it to anyone. If I did, then I'd have to deal with those pesky expectations.

Though it may seem the opposite, I don't like to disappoint people. I get no satisfaction from seeing that look of judgment on their faces, nor do I care for the bitter note of disappointment in their voices when I don't achieve an elusive goal.

Then the unimaginable happened.

Almost three weeks ago, I started swimming at the community college pool. I wrote about it here.

That's when the crazy stuff started...

Last week, I said I'd swim TEN lengths of the Olympic-sized pool. I'd obviously hit my head on the pool or inhaled a quart of water into my tobacco-weakened lungs (at least that's what I thought had happened). My brain, giddy from the endorphins that swimming provides me, sent signals to my vocal cords and I spoke the words aloud.

"My goal is to swim ten lengths by Friday."

I also posted the goal to Facebook. Goodbye, plausible deniability. I know better than to put incriminating information in writing.

Wait, no I don't. I overshare on this blog all the time.

Anyway, back to last Friday? I did it. This super sedentary fat lady swam her little heart out (or at least it felt like it was going to jump out of my chest cavity). Within an hour's time, I swam 500 meters. No kickboard, no SCUBA gear, and no medical intervention by EMTs or lifeguards.

Feeling a bit cocky (and oxygen-deprived, most likely), I set this week's goal for FIFTEEN lengths of the pool.

Crazy, that.

Monday, I managed FOURTEEN lengths, done in 50 minutes. I notice my pace increasing, as well as my confidence in the water.

And I proved to The Boy that the old lady can still do a somersault in the water, even if I rehydrated my sinus cavities in the process.

I've been able to significantly cut back on the Ibuprofen that I had been taking every day. My decrepit joints feel a little less decrepit.

I have to report that yesterday (Wednesday), I did not meet my revised goal.

I swam EIGHTEEN lengths instead. And lived to tell about it.

And tomorrow, at the end of week three? I'm shooting for TWENTY.

You have it in print. I'll do my damndest to get it done.

In just three weeks, I've gone from being unable to swim a single length of the pool without stopping for a rest to setting this crazy goal of 20 lengths.

Imagine what I can accomplish in other areas of my life with this wacky goal-setting stuff!

Ignore that last statement - my brain must be water-logged and on an endorphin high.


  1. Great on you that you managed to swim so many laps. I haven't been really swimming in a while and I think the most that I will be able to manage is 5 laps at this stage. You are doing great!!

  2. Hurray for lack of medical intervention! This is super inspiring!

  3. WHOA! I don't think I could swim even one full length of that pool...I'm a terrible swimmer. And I'm with you on the goal setting, if it's done, it will be done in the private confines of my brain after a few cocktails. But you just openly announced're locked in now. 20 lengths or bust!

  4. Yay! I am so proud of you. Very inspiring!

  5. Congratulations. I bow down to you. I KNOW I should get off my rear end and do something, and yet I don't.

    Soon, you'll have "swimming the English Channel" as your next goal. I am really impressed, and it's not the number of laps that's impressive. It's your persistence that's inspiring.

    Keep it up, Kim (and I know you can do it).


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