Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sick of Being Sick

Nothing can stop you deader in your training tracks than an illness. Now, I'm not talking major sickness here (thank goodness), but just that pesky cold or sinus infection that makes it difficult to breathe.
I have never figured out how to be sick graciously, that is, without whining, and I doubt I'm going to start now. I was feeling really good about my training--although I've biked only twice because of lingering cold and snow--and was gearing up to run the 7-mile Mountain Goat training run this Saturday (I still could do that, just not well). But swimming is out of the question. I'm really struggling to breathe and plunging myself underwater for 20-30 minutes just won't cut it.
Speaking of swimming, that was coming along, well, swimmingly. I have gotten up to three times a week (sometimes four), with the Friday swim alternating with a 2000M for endurance and a speed workout. I have been getting to the pool every Monday at 3 (which works out well with work obligations), but that didn't happen yesterday.
I had been toying with running the Hall of Fame half-marathon, May 22 in Utica, but not really running this week might just make that out of the question (boo-hoo).
So how do I cope when I'm sick?
The answer is not very well.
Yesterday I went to the Sudafed website, where you can indicate your symptoms and they'll suggest the variation of their product that will attack those symptoms. That was fine until I went to the drugstore nearest my office and they didn't have that version. So I bought the store brand, which provided me some relief.
I cannot take an antihistamine since I am one of those very few who get the frantic side-effect. It makes my heart race and I can't sleep. Not good.
I'm hopeful this is a cold, and that I'll start feeling better tomorrow, which would be day 7 of feeling poorly. If I don't feel better by Friday, I'll call my doctor, though I'm not a fan of antibiotics.
All I can do, restlessly and with very little patience, is wait it out.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Teach Your Children

My daughter is about to graduate from college and accept one of two offers to pursue her master's degree. She has always been a conscientious, hard-working student. I stopped asking pretty early on if she had done her homework, because she always did. But this isn't so much a blog about Georgia the ace student, as it is about the educational choices I (and her dad) made for her.
Both of the kids were educated in private institutions (until college, a fact I find interesting). As the oldest, Georgia went to private kindergarten, with a graduating class of seven. Once Will was old enough to enter preschool and Georgia first grade, we switched them to St. Matthew's, a quality Catholic school that is, sadly, no longer.
The decision of a non-Catholic family to send their children to a parochial school was not made lightly, or without a lot of financial sacrifice (non-Catholics pay a higher tuition rate). We knew the kids would be OK at the neighborhood city elementary school (but we weren't keen on the mile-long walk expected of first-graders), yet what hung us up was the middle school situation. Frankly, at the time, it wasn't all that great.
Finances were such that we could afford Catholic school, so we enrolled the kids, telling them they didn't have to take the Catholic canon to heart, but to embrace the spirituality of what was being said.
But back to kindergarten. It was suggested to me that Georgia should skip first grade. I barely considered it--the answer was no. I didn't want to pull her from her peer group; skipping a grade would mean she'd always be the youngest.
Then in first grade, they wanted to enroll her in a gifted program. (Do they even have gifted programs anymore?) I don't like the idea of labeling a kid, good or bad, smart or slow, and especially not my kid! This is a child who, even by age 6, I could tell put way too much pressure on herself. What would thrusting her into a competitive gifted program do to that self-motivation? I was afraid it would turn her into a neurotic wreck.
If she is truly gifted, I thought, let it manifest itself in high school, when grades really matter. Now, I don't know if Georgia is gifted or not, but I do know that the decision to let her studiousness emerge on her terms was one of the best I made for her. Within a week of being accepted at SUNY Oswego, we received a letter, outlining her $4,000 a year scholarship. Then came the letter inviting her into the honors program (which she still is part of). Last week we found out she won the Outstanding Senior in Zoology award, worth several hundred dollars. And she is weighing two offers, from SUNY ESF, and SUNY Buffalo, all with stipends, fellowships and enough other money attached so the master's will be earned, at no cost.
Guess the investment made in Catholic school literally paid off.