1. Swimming is fun, but getting up early is a struggle. Especially on a morning like last Tuesday when it was crazy foggy. You'll have to take my word for it that this is a picture of the UWO stadium at about 5:50 AM. Saturday evening practices are a little more chill; this week we did a time trial for 400 meters free, and then 50 meter freestyle sprints. It turns out I've added 1 second to my 50 free time per year since 2001, the last year that I was officially timed. So that's not awful, I guess. I can work it back down over the next few months before the first masters swim meet. Everyone on the team is super nice and encouraging, and there truly is a huge range of abilities. After the time trials, we also did some relays, and we played a game called the Human Cannon. Six of my teammates launched me forward to see how far they could move me if I didn't try to propel myself (I'd say I made it about 20 meters - impressive!). Why on earth did I wait 4 years to try the triathlon club? I have no idea.
I'm ready for the weather to actually feel like fall, but I won't complain because I think complaining about it being 70 degrees and sunny is a #whitgirlproblem.
2. John and I have been taking turns bringing Her Ladyship, Le Beaux Royale, to the dog park. She blends in perfectly with the fall foliage, which, I have to say, is pretty beautiful. I had no idea London had such nice dog parks! She blends in so well, in fact, that you can hardly see her in this picture:
Taking her to the dog park is a great way to end the day on Friday and it really makes her happy. Sometimes there are a couple of other greyhounds there, and the three of them start to approach warp speed. Last week they were running around the trees in the wooded area of the park, and I was amazed that they could avoid running into the trees head on. [NERD ALERT] It was like that scene in Return of the Jedi on Endor when they're chasing each other on air bikes (similar clip here).
3. Last week, my church invited Rev. John Shelby Spong to speak as part of a year-long series of events celebrating the church's 125th Anniversary. We had a great turn out! Also, look how pretty my church is.
Spong is kind of a controversial and I think he prides himself on shaking up conventional thinking by making polemical statements. I was a tad disappointed in his talk, since he spent most of it using the history of science to disprove a lot of older church thinking (Galileo proved the Earth is flat, etc) that I didn't find particularly shocking or useful. Perhaps I'm being too picky, but I was hoping he would make some concrete suggestions about what could be done on a local level to address a lot of the church's problems (institutional misogyny, aging congregations, etc). On the other hand, a bunch of smart people from my church got together the following week to discuss their thoughts on his talk, and I really enjoyed that. The people at my church are willing to have uncomfortable conversations and that's a big part of why I keep going back.
4. I only have to make it until Thursday afternoon before the fun starts. Then it's off to Michigan for a few days of Interlochen party time!