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Archive for the ‘Adventure’ Category

It’s the best day of the week: Try Something New Thursday!

Last Thursday was the big day! I went to a Master’s Swim Class for the first time.

Ready for Master’s Swim!

Husband Saign came along too.

As we were driving to the gym, something unexpected happened: I got super nervous. I can’t explain what I was scared was going to happen, but I just felt scared that I would be embarrassed or something.

Husband Saign thought this was hilarious.

When we got to the pool, I saw the instructor there. I knew it was him because I had seen him instructing before. I also knew that he is super, super nice. But I was scared to approach him, and made Husband Saign come with me.

Our instructor told us to swim a few laps to warm up.

I realized that I was panicking when I got tired halfway through my 2nd lap. I typically swim quite a few laps before getting tired, so I was clearly flailing and acting somewhat awkward, or swimming pointlessly fast.

After the warm up, we were given kickboards and told to do laps. The drill had a fancy name for it, but basically we were told to do 4 lengths comfortable, and sprint the 5th length. Repeat. Over and over.

Of course, I’m far too distractible to actually count laps, so I just sort of sprinted every time I thought it might be the 5th length.

As I was kicking back and forth, wondering how I would learn to be a better swimmer if we spent the whole time with kickboards, I noticed something: Some lady who wasn’t from our class was asking our instructor for swimming tips. That lady was getting the class I wanted, and meanwhile I was just kicking my little legs!

I thought about putting away the kickboard and telling the instructor that I wanted to practice freestyle, but I thought that would be rude.

After about 45 minutes, we stopped and took turns being timed while swimming a lap. I’m relatively certain that I was the slowest in the class. (The class was only 4 people, and I know for sure that I was slower than 2 of the other 3 people). I didn’t really care about being slow, I was just happy that I got to swim a lap so that I could ask my instructor for some advice.

So I did. And…um…apparently my swimming is pretty disastrous. I guess that isn’t much of a surprise, but I’ve improved so much within the past few months, that I don’t feel disastrous when I swim.

Apparently I swim like a surfer. As in, I swim with my body really still, which is certainly not optimal. Plus I often have my arms straight as they enter the water. Again, not optimal.

Now that I understood this, I was ready to practice implementing the advice I’d been given…but class was over.

All in all, I’d say I was a little disappointed, since I was really hoping for some advice to improve my strokes, rather than endurance drills. However, the instructor is super nice, so I know that if I keep going back, I’ll be able to get more advice if I just ask for it. Also, apparently Tuesday nights there’s more instruction involved at Master’s Swim, while Thursday nights is more about endurance.

So guys, don’t get scared like me! If you have a chance to try out Master’s Swim, do it! I know it will bring improvement!

Have you ever tried a swim class? Ever been told you swim like a surfer?

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Fact #1: I don’t like clams.

Fact #2: I like adventures and trying new things.

This weekend, fact #2 outweighed fact #1. I got the crazy idea in my head that we should go clamming.

I don’t know where I got the idea, but it was there. I somehow decided that clamming was great fun and I really wanted to try it!

It was quite the to-do. First we had to figure out where it was legal to clam. Then what size clams were legal. Then how to find clams. Then whether or not Ada the Dog was allowed to come with us. Then we had to get our shellfish licenses. Then we had to buy digging tools and a bucket.

And finally, after a ton of work, we found ourselves on a rocky beach surrounded by a bunch of other people with buckets, shovels, and rakes.

We had no idea what we were doing.

Here Husband Saign is, trying to figure out how to clam.

So we just watched everyone else…they seemed to just be digging. So that’s what we did. Soon enough, Husband Saign had his first clam!

Husband Saign found probably 6 more clams before I found my first:

My first clam!!!

Look at the size of that thing! (I had to put him back because he was too tiny).

Eventually I found a clam that was big enough to bring home. And I found one more after that.

My first appropriately sized clam.

After about 40 minutes, we were pretty bored with clamming. We had probably 10 clams or so.

Yep, all that hurrah and planning for 40 minutes of fun and 10 clams! What can I say? That’s the life of an impulsive adventurer, I get an idea in my head and must try, but I’m ready to try something else almost immediately after the first activity began.

So we walked around the woods a little at the State Park and then went home.

And that’s when the real adventure began. Guys, clams are super gross. I thought about taking a picture for you, but I honestly was scared that it might make someone puke. The clams were confused about where they were, so they began sticking their nasty tubey head-things out. And it was disgusting. And the last thing I wanted to do was eat that nastiness. But I really hate wasting food. We decided that we would wait and eat them on Sunday for dinner.

The next day, Saign’s uncle called and said that they were going clamming and asked us if we wanted to come. Of course we did! His uncle knew a great spot, and within 10 minutes we both had our limit of 40 clams! It was much easier than on Saturday. (We also brought our clams from Saturday and put them back into the water). Plus, his family convinced me that clams are super delicious and that I would really enjoy them.

Here’s the whole crew, tromping around in the water after we had spent approximately 10 minutes gathering our limit in clams.

When we got them home I had the task of trying to cook them. It was quite the process, and I might have done something wrong, but first I scrubbed the little monsters with a brush…which took me 2 episodes of Saved by the Bell. Then they sat in the fridge for a few hours. Then I steamed them in wine and butter. They smelled so good. Unfortunately they did not look as good as they smelled. Seriously, look:

This is what cooked clams look like. Would you like to eat that?

Blech.

I was a little frightened to try one. I decided to have Ada the Dog eat one first. I knew that if she loved it, I’d probably feel better about it. So I gave her a clam.

She licked the butter off and then spit the clam out. Even though we encouraged her by saying, “take it!” (A command that she knows), she would not eat it.

Here Ada the dog is, with her spit-out clam.

I just want you to know that if a dog won’t eat something, it’s a bad sign.

Finally I braved it out and ate one. And that was it. I ate just one.

Guys, I’m really sorry. I really, really hate it that I was wasteful with those clams. But they were super gross. I know I could have forced myself to eat them. I’ve eaten plenty of disgusting things gracefully in the name of cultural kindness. But I was in my own home. Where the culture is my own. So I offended no one by not eating them.

We wasted our clams. And what’s worse: we couldn’t even feed them to Ada the Dog, since she was also disgusted by them.

We had frozen yogurt for dinner…after I spent hours preparing clams!!!

In conclusion:

Clamming = Fun fun fun!

Eating Clams = Not a good idea.

So, if you particularly like clams, I welcome you to come to my home and I will dig them for you, cook them for you, and feed them to you.

But I don’t recommend digging up 40 clams for yourself if you don’t enjoy the taste of clams.

WARNING WARNING: I seem to have gotten food poisoning from my great clamming adventure, so if you try it on your own, don’t clean them the way that I did!

Do you like clams? Do you think there’s something I could do in preparing them that would help them to taste better? Did you make anything delicious for dinner this weekend?

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