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Before You Swim

Specifically we are talking about eating after waking up and before swimming, also distance swimming. Keeping digestion time in mind.

The body stores glycogen in the liver and blood/muscles. About 20% in the liver, which is lower in the morning. However the remaining 80% obviously provides more energy and is about 2000 calories, sufficient for 2 hours of high intensity exercise and is unaffected by sleep. It is however more important to eat after swimming, a mix of protein for muscle repair and some cabs to metabolize it.

I regularly don't eat at all before morning swimming and have no problems. Some of it is just experience and confidence and getting used to how my body works, and not worrying about people telling me I had to eat.

Whether you need to eat before swimming is more about personal preference than anything else. I do intermittent fasting, and almost never eat anything before I swim, or run, or bike, or lift weights, and thousands of other people do the same.

That being said, I've read from plenty of people who have to eat before they work out, so my advice is to do what works for you.

However if I am planning a longer 2 hr plus swim, then I make sure to eat.

Top of my list, like a lot of swimmers, is porridge. I hate porridge though I've gotten used to eating it. I avoid processed food when heavy training and don't believe in advocating its use as it sets bad habits.

A better solution is a home-made smoothie. I use low-fat natural or Greek yoghurt, frozen or fresh berries, half a cup of oats, and apple or orange juice. Easy to make, quick, delicious and easy to eat, 1 minute getting stuff from fridge, 20 seconds in a blender and both tasty and high in protein and carbs.

You can enhance it by the occasional addition of iron-rich water, if you do this make sure there are no grapes or grape juice which blocks metabolisation of iron.

I eat both before all longer swims, though I don't swim marathons, and while I love coffee, I mostly only drink de-caff most so that I can maximize the ergogenic effects of caffeine during a swim.

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Me Casual /= You Casual

My co-workers all wear t-shirts jeans, yoga pants cardigans plus some casual footwear like trainers. Limited make up. A lot of people here just wear jeans all week long. Then only "dressing up" when they know somebody important is going to stop in that day.

This is not who I am.

I dress casual for me. And in a causal work environment that means in a manner that I feel comfortable with and am able to give my all.

Of course I don't wear heels at the lab, and footwear that doesn't leave me hurting at the end of the day is a must. I stay true to my style which is more dressed up that casual. That is to say I wear tailored trousers/culottes, shirts/blouses, and dresses that are a little less fitted/tailored.

I feel the need to dress up more to be taken seriously in my role.

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Putting I In Individualism

I remember reading an article a while back which talked about Pope Francis' criticisms of individualism. Turning to the saints for their examples, we see a variety of temperaments, interests, and skills. You don't the saints as the same cookie-cutter people. They were unique and that is what we as a society and a Church needs.

There seems to be a number of different ways of defining 'individualism', I've lately been wondering what Catholic teaching might say about other definitions of the word.

I read once that all heresies are truths being unproportionaly magnified or minimized.

I think the dangerous part of individualism is that it can encourage us to focus on ourselves rather than others.

This is what the Church teaches against when it speaks of individualism. Modernity, certain aspects of liberalism and certain aspects of conservatism may do that. While the saints are quite diverse, they all show a devotion to God and a concern for their neighbor rather than a self-centered focus on their own desires.

As you see two distinct ways of viewing the same subject with two very different outcomes.

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Flexible Goals Are My Stratagem

I don't reach goals, I just change them and update them. This works for me and allows me to move in a direction that is both rewarding and encouraging. It's not really about reaching goals for me anyway, but to maintain my health.

Let me explain.

My goal one year ago was to run sub 50 minutes 10k. Now, my goal is to run sub 45 minutes 10k.

This is just an example, of course, as I have more goals. I learnt to go by performance, rather than aesthetics, as with only aesthetics it feels sort of useless. I mean you reach your aesthetic goal and then what?

It's not like you can just stop and remain there.

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Footwear = Foot Pain

I don't know if this exists, or if it is a mythical creature. I am talking about footwear that doesn't hurt my feet. I am on my feet most of the day and when I get home my feet hurt. And though I have been actively looking for them for a long time they have remained elusive.

Rainbow sandals were a good fit for the more casual good weather shoe. Though I got a sunburn once on my right foot so bad that it swelled up and I couldn't wear shoes.

I have yet to find a shoe that I have no foot pain ever, but these are the best I have worn.

For sneakers I like to go with either Nike (casual) or New Balance (running), but their quality seems to have declined somewhat over time and I buy a new pair more often that I use to with the same amount of wear. They only last about 6-9 months before I have worn them out which is slightly faster than it used to be.

While I find Crocs nice — my mother got me hooked on them — I can't wear those in the lab. Plus the are nice to pull on, but I am not sure 8-10 hours on them would be as nice.

I've got some shoes in circulation that I have bought over the last couple of years, but they're not really any more soft or supportive than what I would like. Then I have some that remained heavy and stiff even I spent time breaking in. Ironically the shoes will last me decades since I almost never wear them. This is why my professors in college always looked dated.

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Hey! That’s My Bag

Have you ever been standing at the luggage carousel, watching people fight their way to the front and just start grabbing bags? I have been witness to a number of interesting scenes, including one where a guy grabbed my bag.

Now I use a band of colored tape around the handles of my luggage even my carry ons, all in the same color. Generally speaking a bright color works well.

My father suggested it and since then I mainly use pink gaff tape. The nice thing about the tape is that it doesnt usually leave that nasty adhesive goo behind if you need to remove it. And it is made from cotton which feels nice.

I buy my gaffer type from amazon.

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So Adorable

I simply adore it when little kids acting like adults. My nieces and nephews do this all of the time. It is priceless when they put their hands on their hips and try to have a serious discussion with a grown up. Or when they pretend to go to work and do whatever their childs' mind thinks adults must do at work and they have their brow all furrowed.

Adorable. Every time.

On the other hand, adults acting like kids, this is a whole bunch of disturbing. The only exception being Tom Hanks in Big.

I guess you could call it a child's sense of wonder.

They're never cynical or apathetic. Everything is interesting, even the stupid things, and it just reminds you how beautiful everything can be if you just look at it like it's new.

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The Save Yourself in Disaster Preparedness Mindset

I took a course when my parents and I took a cruise, this was a couple of years ago when I graduated from college. It was a real eye opener for me. And it was anecdotal in so far that it was a story the instructor told.

The instructor once said that the fatalities of women in catastrophic disasters at sea was much higher than men. And then he asked the class why.

A lot of the people present at the course — both men and women — were of the opinion that women were just naturally weaker swimmers than men. Those that had other ideas suggested that they either stayed inside their rooms or ran around half-crazed.

For the people that said they were more likely to be in interior cabins, the reasoning was the men were more likely to be in bars or socializing on the deck for longer than women. A crazy person doesn't listen to authority right? Sp for the group that answered with "half-crazed" they proposed that the women were less likely to listen to authorities during emergencies.

Sorry.

According to the instructor the majority of women who die during disasters were reported to be going back after their children and were caught in the worsening conditions and didn't survive.

It sounds plausible — I'd go back for my dog. I don't have any kids yet, but she is my precious baby. I can't bear the thought of her being all alone when facing death, even if I knew that I could not save her.

Of course the men didn't say, "I didn't go back for my kids because I can just make more." It was still the instructor's belief that this was the reason more women die in disasters than men. Women going to be more likely to sacrifice themselves for their children, men were more likely to flee.

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Modern Catholic

I guess you would say that I am a millennial. People in my age range seem to be moving more and more away from religion. Yet, that isn't always the case and a lot of churches are making targeted attempts to bring them "back into the church," though the church may not be their church.

Organizations like that attempt to make it modern and avoid the traditional aspects of the church. I would run from those churches. If it wasn’t for Orthodoxy I don’t think I would’ve ever been interested in Christianity.

They take away everything I want, tradition, and replace it with everything that I dislike.

I want prayer and reverence.

I want connection.

I want spirituality.

What I do not want is a concert.

The only thing I need a worship service to make me feel is reverence for God and a connection to the generations of saints that have come before me. I find that in a liturgical service and a contemporary service feels like a bad concert for a social club I'm not a part of. It's like the "contemporary" services are more to feel good about oneself rather than to actually grow in one's faith.

Getting people in the door is not the goal of a church worship service.

That's the problem with a lot of American churches.

The charismatic megachurch is a phenomenon that is only possible in the First World, where religion and leisure can significantly overlap.

We view the worship service as an evangelistic tool rather than a means for the worship of God and the edification of the saints. You might fill the church with people but what kind of Gospel are you giving them? But the moment you give them the real thing they will leave. Evangelism was the order of the saints outside the church.

In the rest of the world, people are sticking to the form of worship that the Church has kept since within living memory of the Apostles.

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A Thorn In Our Flesh: Bad Behavior in the Church

To be fair as well, bad behavior has been the Church's thorn in the flesh since the very beginning. Who can forget how often the apostles would squabble among themselves while Jesus was yet on earth! Or that one time when Paul rebuked Peter right to his face for "being reprehensible?"

Our Lord in our own spheres of influence:

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house."

People are angry at the tragic state of the Church in America, at least in my community and with those I have spoken to in other communities. This is from my personal experience so you should not take my statement at face value. And that can lead to some less than pleasant behavior and siege mentalities that I think you will find in most locations. Unchristian behavior in the Church is a scandal that reflects badly on the Church and misrepresents the God we claim to follow.

But the Church is more than its human failings, more than its foibles and flaws. There's a reason Song of Songs 1:4 is sometimes seen as an allegory for the Church after all.

This shapes non-Catholics opinion of us in such a way that you will experience unpleasant people from time to time. But if they are ignorant of Catholicism enough to hate it, they are ignorant of the rest of organized religion. When I hear them claim X is better than Y I just smile. I can't free them from their ignorance. When people don't understand something, their opinion is a dice roll of which stories they believe. The enemy of my enemy is my friend mentality is alive and well. It is naive.

But then people have hated truth and goodness since the beginning.