I run Chivaz. I sell skate socks. I suck at skating. But I fucking love it. I love watching it, I love trying it and I love the vibe that energizes the sport. It is hardly a sport, it is a way of life.
I had drinks with some life long skaters on Friday night. Talking to them about why they love to skate blew my mind. They are so much better than I will ever be at the sport.
My true sport is swimming. It looks super boring from the outside. And frankly, for the first 15 years of my competitive career in swimming it had plenty of boring moments.
it was only after graduating from college and forcing myself through 4 years of cold wet mornings in the pool that I began to enjoy swimming. In swimming it is so easy to be sidetracked by how fast you are going. You become disillusioned by time. Every single lap of every single practice is done on an interval. I have had so much experience swimming that I can do a lap with my eyes closed, touch the wall at perfect extension and tell you what my time was to the second.
Then I realized that this was wrong. Swimming is about the stroke, the technique, the strength of the body focused on each part of pull and how it slips through the water. How your hips are your power, how you must engage your core and still focus on what your fingers are doing without forgetting to breath.
I have been swimming on a competitive team for over 30 years now and I like it more than ever before. I am not faster, but I am more efficient and knowledgeable. I love feeling smooth and strong in the water. It gives me a good healthy energy that carries me throughout the day.
The problem with swimming is that if you are out of the water for two or more days in a row, you lose the feeling of your stroke. For each day you miss, it takes 3 days of swimming to make up for it. There is a reason that Michael Phelps didn’t miss a day of swimming for 16 months leading up to the 2008 Olympics. That is only one of the reasons that he was able to have the best performances anyone has seen in the modern era.
About 6 weeks ago I really hurt my knee. The same knee that that I tore the ACL on 2 years ago. This strain on my knee stopped me from skating completely, but did not prevent me from swimming. Unfortunately it totally threw a wrench in my stroke. I could not flip turn or kick with one leg. This put a strain on my shoulders and I felt like crap in the water. This really bummed me out. Last week I finally started to feel better again, and boy did I miss feeling my stroke. My knee was on the mend and my strength was coming back.
Then I got shingles.
WTF. Old people get shingles. I am not that old. It hurts, it makes me feel weak and tired. It itches, it is hot when the rest of my body is cold. And it is apparently contagious; so I can’t swim. And I am sitting here feeling out of shape, depressed and upset. I can’t swim, run or skate. It is cold outside and I don’t want to get on my bike and I am tired above it all.
I can’t get out of my head. There is a ton of work to do, but without that energy that I get from swimming, I can’t get it done. I thought I would try a journal entry to get this out. Maybe someone has some advice?
I have the blues. Not to be confused with the Blues Tubes socks, which are currently on sale, along with the rest of the Chivaz at 3 for $40.
Oh well, screw it. I will try to get back to work and just imagine that when I am finally able to get back in the water after another few days, I won’t feel as bad as I know I will.
If you read this, thanks for taking the time. It is rare that I will ever put my real thoughts out into the public.
Chivaz are worn on “purpose.” We aim our socks at skaters because their “purpose” of skating is one of the purest and most obvious we know. Thanks