Sore Eyes

I didn't swim last Monday coz I had to finish the csv's for the dataloaders. Che has had sore eyes since Friday night and I've contracted it Monday morning. I was sent home by the Clinic for a 3-day SL. I'm taking Tobradex. It's the same medz the kids are using. Coz of the eyepain, there wasn't much I could do. I couldn't even read for very long. The eyes would water and I had to give them a rest and then sleep. So for this vacation, I didn't do any apt work even though there were screens to sand and paint. I figure the dust from the sanding would aggravate my eyes' condition as they're still red.

So I settled for light stuff like brief reading (I've read the highbeam articles), watching videos from the 12-in-one DVD cartoons with Renz and Sandra. Both of them have been absent from school for sore eyes too. Sandra didn't have school last Tues, June19 coz of Laguna day. I also cleaned my swim radio for accumulated dirt. I reviewed some of the old swim videos and sorted some old karaoke videos. It's all basically light work.

Dyok Taym!
Last Sunday, Renz was all up and bright to greet me: "Happy Mother's Day!" Uhm, it was Father's Day.

Today's Karen's 13th Birthday! Happy Birthday Karns!

Some of the highlights of my reading the highbeam articles:

African-Americans are realizing that swimming is a total body workout that improves cardiovascular condition as well as works and tones muscles simultaneously. And for those looking to slim down and tone, swimming provides a more efficient exercise than lifting weights by attacking every muscle in different ways. "When you lift, you're lifting on a two-dimensional plane because you're just pushing or pulling," Davis says. "The results will plateau. Swimming is on a three-dimensional plane. You're pushing and pulling, but you're attacking the muscle in different angles at different points. No two strokes are the same."
Swimming is probably the all-around healthiest exercise option. Whether you are old or young, physically fit or not, swimming can help you feel and look better.

In fact, swimming a minimum of three times a week for 20 to 30 minutes each time can improve the condition of your heart, arteries and lungs, lower your blood pressure and reduce your percentage of unwanted body fat. It also works all your major muscle groups, unlike other options which tone only your legs or arms.

For New Year's fitness resolutions or for just trying to work off the holiday bulge, swimming is the quickest way to tone up and slim down. Water provides 12 times as much resistance as air and swimming laps for one hour burns more calories than aerobics, running, bicycling, walking, or weightlifting.
Swimming is the perfect exercise for lifetime fitness. No other activity provides so many health benefits with so few dangers. The older athlete is especially concerned about staying healthy because consistency is essential for a fitness program to be effective, and avoiding injury is the key to consistency. Water is a wonderfully forgiving medium. Gone is the jarring of running. Absent are the dangers of cycling. Dogs, cars, angry people, potholes, curbs, inclement weather, and even air pollution are potential injury-causing factors that can be avoided in the environment most often encountered by the fitness swimmer. The swimming pool is a safe environment by design.
Athletes weary of battering their bodies with running and high-impact aerobics are taking the plunge into swimming. The reason? Swimming has the lowest injury rate of any vigorous sport.

"One of the things that a lot of people like about swimming is it doesn't have the impact on the joints that running does. So, it's very beneficial for people who have bad knees and bad backs,'' says Dave Markus, health and fitness director at the Southwest YMCA in Saratoga, Calif.

By and large, kids don't regret what they have missed," Mr. Murphy says. "They say they got so much on the other side. They traveled, made friends in other countries. It is the sacrifices that help make them the special person they become.

When you conquer your fears, ocean swimming can be a glorious experience. "I really, really like it," says Bolster, who after years of pool training recently headed to the open waters. "Once you get into a comfortable rhythm, it can be very Zen-like out there." Wantagh's Nancy Tischler agrees. Although she, too, grew up with a dad who swam the sea, she stayed put in the pool. "Most people worry about sharks and fish," she said. "I was just afraid of being over my head." About two years ago, she took the plunge - and now swims in the ocean almost every summer morning. "My life has begun again," she said with a laugh. "It just feels so free out there."

"If you want to improve your swimming you have to swim five times a week and vary your strokes," said Geer. "You need someone to critique you because you can't see what you're doing."

He attributes his speed to mastery of a wide range of strokes, which gives him greater endurance and strength. Right now he's concentrating on the breast stroke.

"You can't defeat age, but you can master activities," said Geer. "You learn how to propel yourself in the water, how to better feel the glide and slide through the water. It's like dancing well."
Searfoss shows her daughters, who range in age from 2 to 9, the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. "It's important for them to see exercise as a part of life," she said. "It's good to see what you can do and maintain when you're older."
The reason some 70-year-old swimmers can outperform teenagers is because swimming is such a technical sport. Proper stroke mechanics and efficiency can compensate for the superior strength and endurance of youth. This makes swimming the ideal sport for the older athlete who wants to enjoy the thrills of improvement in a physical activity. Past the age of 50, the well-trained athlete is at a physical stage where further training will not produce a big change in performance. Improved technique, however, will extract every bit of physical potential that's available. We've seen numerous swimmers who have been able to match performances from their youth through a combination of careful training and better stroke mechanics. The results for swimmers who pick up the sport late in life are even more dramatic. As they learn how to swim more efficiently, they do lifetime bests every time they dive into the pool. It's a great feeling for them, and their coaches, too!

Of course swimming isn't going to transform someone from the "old-old" age group into a teenager. It can, however, certainly help the 90-year-old live a fuller life. There are some losses of physical capacity over which we have no control. Nevertheless, there are many more that readily respond to increased use by becoming stronger, more resilient, and more youthful in function. We have to take the bad with the good and be glad we can win at least some of the battles against aging, even if we eventually will lose the war. It's essential that we never give up. We may have to make a few compromises along the way, but we must never capitulate.

The adaptational feature of the leisure repertoire concept also underscores the emphasis on competence. If, as Deci and Ryan state, perceived competence and self-determination are innate needs that continue throughout life, then deprivation of opportunities for perceived competence and self-determination may result in significant psychological problems for the individual (e.g., Seligman, 1975). As people age, the number of genuine leisure choices is eroded by a series of age related constraints (e.g., illness, diminished financial resources, fear of crime, lack of transportation, etc.). No matter how free the individual is to choose what to do during free-time, if the person cannot act on a choice, then it is not really a choice at all. Therefore, though we acknowledge that self-determination is essential to intrinsically motivated leisure activities, we likewise contend that perceptions of competence regulate the array of activities the individual has to choose from.

Adaptation to aging is partly a matter of maintaining or enhancing competence, thereby retaining self-determination through a repertoire of leisure activities (Mobily, et al., 1991). If the aged individual can maintain or even enlarge the number of (competently performed) activities in his or her leisure repertoire, then age related constraints are less likely to eliminate all leisure options. For example, competent participation in swimming may be substituted (Iso-Ahola, 1986) for competent participation in jogging that was surrendered because of osteoporosis. Hence, the older person with more viable activity choices in free time (i.e., a larger leisure repertoire of competently performed activities) has the psychological advantage.

"It's so important for everyone to learn to swim no matter what age," Ms. Harvey says. "We encourage people to learn to swim at a very young age, but it's important for adults to learn to swim if they didn't when they were younger."

"It takes old-fashioned practice, practice, practice," Mr. Strange says. "Many people don't want to embarrass themselves in lessons. They don't want to admit they can't swim, so they don't try. The only embarrassment is not trying. The ones who try are the heroes."
These are the calculations you make when you are a swimmer who cannot really swim, someone who might have passed diving exams, perhaps even saved people from drowning - in certain conditions. But you don't breathe properly when you swim, you don't relax in the water, and your first thought on starting out is of how far you will have to go, and how soon you will be out of the water again.

I was tired of being one of these incompetents, only half able to enjoy a holiday by the sea, and only half sure that, the next time, I could save someone's life or my own. I went to find a teacher, more than 35 years after I had first swum a width of the municipal baths. And the more I told friends and colleagues about what I was doing, the more I uncovered people who felt the same stigma, who had grown up suffering their failing in silence.

The changes, such as slowing your kick or recovering your arm elbow-up and close to your body, may seem small, but incorporating them into your swimming can make an enormous difference. That's because swimming, like golf and skiing, is a technique sport.

Because water is a thousand times denser than air, "a swimmer with poor technique expends three or four times the energy to cover the same distance. That means that a slight woman with a well-honed stroke that barely ripples the surface can outdistance the muscular fellow kicking and beating the water to a froth.

"Proprioception, that is, muscle awareness, is the most important element that a suit lends to our bodies. The suit presses against the skin in such a way as to give an athlete the feeling of being stronger and more in control. The suit creates compression that allows the nervous system to provide better feedback on where the body is positioned. Soccer players, for example, create a proprioceptive effect when they tape their feet. The close-fitting sleeves worn by baseball players and the tight suits of ballet dancers perform likewise."

Many beginning swimmers soon quit because they find their swim workout boring. If your workout lacks variety and is the same every time, your enthusiasm may also take a nose dive. You can make swimming more interesting and get more out of your workouts by varying the distance, stroke, and intensity of your swims and by working on different parts of your body at different times.

Another way to vary your workout is to change strokes. Instead of swimming freestyle (crawl) or breast-stroke, try alternating strokes between laps. By working on all four strokes--breastroke, backstroke, butterfly, and freestyle--you not only make the workout more fun, but you also work different sets of muscles.

But Americans' love affair with high-calorie foods - and a warm television to eat them with - still prevails.

"We've become a spectator nation. We are happy to watch the million-dollar athlete on television, but we don't want to do anything ourselves," Tom McMillan, the former basketball star and congressman and now co-chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness, complained last year.

Sixty-six percent of Americans regularly watch TV while eating dinner, says TV-Free America, a nonprofit group in Washington, D.C. that organizes national "TV-turnoff" weeks each year.
Not all those who claim the title "ocean swimmer" actually are. In some surveys, Laughlin suspects, "people who go to the beach two or three times, take a dip and come out again after five minutes, or go in waist deep - they respond as having 'gone swimming.'"

In contrast, "Someone who can swim a quarter mile, 100 yards from shore - that's truly ocean swimming, and there are not many who can do that. If you look out 100 yards from shore, you're not going to see many people out there, swimming parallel to the beach for some distance."

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