Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Coming Out

Workout first, then explanation:

Swam 2500 yards prior to Masters which Craig coached:

400 warmup
400 - 8 x 50's swim/drill on :50
1000 - 8 x 125's pull :10ri
400 - 8 x 50's kick with fins :5 ri
1000 - 8 x 125's IM (rotate additional 25 of each stroke) on 2:10
400 - 8 x 50's kick fins :5 ri
1000 - 8 x 125's odd free, even finger paddles on 2:00
100 grandpa swimming

7,200 yards total in 2:10

Man I was beat today.  Lifted serious chest and shoulders yesterday with Jacob and I was in trouble from the start.  Today was NOT fast, but just powered through.

Sam is a real hoot.
Last Saturday near the end of the meet, my son Sam who is 8 was anxious to go.   He was bored and wanted to get on with his day.  Jacob had a basketball game he was playing in so we had to rush.  They chased me in to the locker room to get going getting showered and dressed so they could leave.   I quickly 
showered and as I was getting dressed, Sam comes up to me and puts his hand up to his mouth and whispers in his cute little Sammy voice, "Dad, don't let anyone see your birthmark."  With a huge grin on his face.

My mother told me a story when I was a young kid about how my Great Grandmother first discovered my birthmark.  After being babysat by her one afternoon, when my Mother arrived back, Grandma Gladys exclaimed to her, "I scrubbed as hard as I could but that boy has a dry poop stain that just ain't coming out!" In retrospect, I'm so glad she didn't get out the steel wool to work on it. In my youth my Mom encouraged me to also be very discreet in Junior high in the showers.

Most birthmarks are purple or red.  Mine is brown, about the size of a baseball and on my right butt check.  So it's been something I've been very aware of in the locker room throughout my life.  For the same reason that my Great Grandmother feared at her first impression.  When you see a big brown spot on someone's bum, you don't immediately say, "Oh that's not what it appears, it's got to be a birthmark".  So to avoid any possible confusion by quick observing strangers, I keep it concealed. 

Now my kids associate that level of discretion as shame, or possibly anxiety about it.  They like to laugh about it and threaten to reveal it as a form of blackmail. Whatever.  For me it's a very unique and personal tattoo that God placed upon me.   Whenever we are taking a picture of one of the kids, or as a family and the kids are straining to smile and they don't look natural, instead of making them say "Cheese!",  I get them to say "Birthmark!"  After which every single kid's face is beaming with delight and laughter and we get a really great picture. 

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