Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

May 31, 2015

May 2015 – Family Updates

Filed under: Lilah and Luke,Mom and Dad — dave9169 @ 2:58 am

May Highlights:

Lilah Nails it at Season End Swim Championships

The two weeks leading up to the season ending swim championships Lilah took on the familiar role of constant complainer. She complained about the venue and the slippery diving blocks. She complained about the cold weather. She complained about the slow pool. And she complained about how her coach couldn’t simply be happy with her team taking first and second place in her event. Instead, the coach wondered aloud in practice about who would “win” the year end meet. “Who cares who wins first place,” Lilah said to me in the car on one of her rants. She also added that there was no way she was going to achieve her goal of a sub 38-second time for the 50 yeard breaststroke because the pool was just too slow. My job in these moments is to simply let her vent.

Sometimes Lilah says she “doesn’t care” and means it, but when she gets in complaint-mode, I know that she probably cares too much and that the seemingly negative mental attitude that manifests itself in her downbeat vocalizations is simply a way for her to expel the negativity and anxiety out of her system. As a parent, it’s easy to give into the temptation of trying to give advice in these situations, but it’s a trap that I’m slowly learning not to fall into.

The good news is that Lilah’s mental tricks appear to work for her. Not only did she end up winning the JV Championships for the breaststroke (the only JV girl to win 1st place), she also achieved her goal of a sub 38-second time in the process (37:73 was her winning time). The cold weather, slippery diving blocks, and slow pool fading from memory, replaced instead by the feeling of obstacles successfully overcome.

Luke Focused on Grades and Basketball

Luke is doing his best imitation of Lilah these days when it comes to his looming final report card. Right before we had dinner he said “Well, it doesn’t look like I’m going to get a phone until eighth grade,” referring to the deal we made of him receiving a phone this year (one year earlier than Lilah) if he managed to achieve straight As for the entire school year. Keep in mind Luke has maintained an A average all year, but for some reason he doesn’t think he’ll be able score a high enough grade on his math final to keep his A grade in that class. I told him I understood and then also let him know that all I cared about was that he try his best. He insisted that he is not good at math. I tried to remind him that he is not as bad as he thinks at math because if he was he wouldn’t have received all As up until this point, but that only seemed to annoy him so I dropped the subject before he could fling any more arrows in my direction. It is in his hands now and little does he know that we plan to reward him for all his hard work this year anyway, something we’re keeping to ourselves until the school year is over. Good luck with that test Luke!

YMCA basketball has been fun for Luke this year. He has improved in every game, scoring more points, making more assists, grabbing more rebounds, and generally just showing a lot more confidence in his overall game. Not long ago, Luke would treat the basketball like a hot potato whenever it got into his hands, passing it quickly to the nearest teammate he could find. These days, he’s perfectly happy to dribble the ball up the court or make a quick little move around his man and to the basket to score a layup. In his playoff clinching game he scored his highest point total ever — 16 — and made lots of great plays for his team. The result is his team is now in the playoffs where they’ll get to play at least one more game. I’m looking forward to that.

I Have a Mini Scare at First Triathlon of the Year

I had planned to start my triathlon season at Bonelli Park with a short sprint distance race. I had trained hard leading up to the event and was looking forward to testing out my fitness. As usual, my dad accompanied me and I was feeling pretty good heading into the race. As we got within a mile of the venue however, we noticed the traffic leading into the park had come to a crawl. The end result is that it took us about an extra 30 minutes to enter the park. We still had a little bit of time before the race but not as much as I would have liked so I quickly made my way to the registration area only to find out the race had no record of me signing up. After checking online, I realized that I had accidentally signed up for the previous month’s race instead of the current race. Initially, one of the race volunteers told me I would have to re-sign up and pay all over again ($150). I asked to speak to the race director and could feel my stress levels rise as the volunteers searched for her. It took a few minutes to track her but luckily she understood my situation perfectly and was gracious enough to allow me to race without having to pay again (which she wasn’t obligated to do). However, I did have to re-register and wait in line while I watched the minutes quickly countdown ever closer to the start of the race.

I got into the transition area with only 10 minutes left before it closed, leaving me very little time to set up my bike and gear, and put on my wetsuit. Since this was a short race and I was feeling pressed for time, I decided to swim without the wetsuit. That turned out not to be the greatest decision since the water in the lake was a little colder than I had anticipated and I did not get much time to acclimate to it. The next thing you know, I’m racing and I’m finding myself out of breath in the first 100 meters, but I’m in the lead pack so I decide to gut it out since it’s only 200 more meters to the finish of the swim. Well, that was not so great decision number two since right at about the 200 meter mark I still didn’t feel good. I decided to slow down, but by then it was too late. I was having a hard time moving my arms and my chest felt really tight all of a sudden. I then saw the swimmers I was in front of begin swarming around me as they overtook my non-swimming self. At that moment, I started to freak out a bit because I had never felt this way in the water. I couldn’t move my arms much at all and I didn’t have the buoyancy from the wetsuit to help keep me afloat. For the first time in a race, I knew I was going to have to yell for help. The only problem was that the nearest lifeguard was 20 yards away on his paddleboard with his back turned toward me. That meant I was going to have to yell out “Help” in the loudest voice I could muster and hope for the best. It’s a pretty helpless feeling, but fortunately for me he heard my calls. Shortly after, the rescue boat picked me up and the onboard lifeguards took some vitals — heart rate and blood pressure — and had me relax for a bit before clearing me to go home.

Only we didn’t go home. After texting with some friends, one of them, who had gone through his own heart issues, recommended that I stop by the ER on the way home. Well, unbeknownst to me, when you tell the folks at the ER that you had some tightness in your chest, difficulty breathing, and trouble moving your arms in a race, you are not going to get out of there until they run a gamut of tests on you and then keep you overnight for observation. The good news — I cleared all their tests and am fine. The bad news — I’m not sure the insurance is going to cover the entire hospital bill, which was more than $9,000

I have gone through everything in my head and all that could have contributed to my race disaster. My conclusion: too much stress leading into the race led to me rush around and make some bad decisions (like not wearing a wetsuit). That mistake meant my body was a lot colder than usual to start the race and I only made matters worse by setting too quick a pace to begin the swim. In this cold and anxious state, my body decided to send more blood to my core, decreasing the supply to my extremities and making it hard to move my arms. The anxiety meter then proceeded to redline once my mind took over, processed the variables and realized it hadn’t been in this situation before and had no mechanism to cope. That’s when I yelled for help and started a long chain of events that led me to overnight stay at the ER. Family and friends have told me that I did the right thing by asking for help. Obviously, in hindsight, I wish I had done a lot of things differently, but the good news is I’m still alive to race another day.

That’s all for now. More next month…


  1. Me impresiona como esta grande Luke y bueno Lilah esta toda un jovencita….linda tu familia, David. Cuando veo estas fotos, siempre lamento tanto la distancia y no haber podido regalonear a tus hijos. Un cariño enorme a tu señora y a tus hijos y mi Amor para ti. Gracias por compartir

    Comment by Pamela Luz — June 4, 2015 @ 12:09 pm

  2. Gracias tia. Les dare tus saludos. Y espero poder achicar la distancia un dia con un viaje a Chile con mis ninitos gringitos ;-).

    Comment by dave9169 — June 4, 2015 @ 11:01 pm

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