|Spokane, Washington had its worst winter ever. We set the record for the most days with snow on the ground, and at
this point we had three feet on the ground with five foot drifts(some places had seven). I learned to shovel snow overhand.|
Miimii and I had been trying to have children for a year. We did some tests at the base hospital--Miimii came up fine, I came up zero, zero sperm. I was empty. What a coincidence that a lousy little swimmer had no little swimmers of his own.
The Air Force doctors simply said,"Too bad--have you considered adopting?" I'd just turned 27, Miimii was also young (25), both very healthy, and they wanted us to give up on ever having our own children! So after follow-up tests with no answers, Miimii made me call the local sperm bank immediately, but in conversation with the lady there, I discovered I fit the profile for someone with very low sperm. I wore tight clothes (for cycling),took hot baths/showers, and worked out a lot. She told me to stop doing anything that would heat me up for three months, and then come in to see if I had sperm. I started swimming, but I guarantee it wasn't a sperm interpretive dance. I needed exercise to keep sane. I swam and swam. I swam so much that after six months my times improved by 37%. On this photo you can see the imprint of my goggles, and the irritation from the chlorine.
Our marriage was falling apart from this...1993 was the worst year for us. Lots of arguments and very cold times because we feared we'd never have a family, and Miimii wasn't sensitive to my need to try other things before giving up. She just wanted to try donor sperm NOW. She didn't like the fact I was trying to get my sperm count up (from zero), and the extra time just delayed her getting pregnant.
As a result of the swimming, I ballooned up to 165 pounds (13 pounds above my average) but I suspect now that much of it was muscle. I busted out all of my uniforms, gained three inches on my chest, 1 1/2 inches on my arms, and for the first time, people at work were saying,"Wow...what happened to you??? Been lifting?" This was where my weight problems started.
It was very frustrating. Swimming wasn't hard enough, so I had lots of energy, and anger, and Miimii did too. My self-esteem was low because I watched the racing season go by from the sidelines as I got fat, and my wife yelled at me for it. I failed my very first fitness test in December of 1992, a new bicycle test which would seemingly fit me perfectly. Although I turned it around and had a 49% improvement in just a week, it was humiliating for a guy who, two years earlier, was doing the Air Force run in half the time needed to pass.
Pregnancy was an obsession for Miimii, and she wanted a baby partially because everyone else had one, and was willing to wreck any sense of pride I had just to get one. She even said she didn't feel like having relations anymore because nothing would come of it. I did everything I could do, and more, ironically, for her.
My father had lung cancer. He was operated on and recovered quickly but it was very scary. He probably never got rid of his cancer from 1990. and probably never would. I knew I wouldn't have him around much longer, not after the second time.
Miimii got braces in late 1992, paid for out of our savings. The Air Force dental program wouldn't help because they said it was purely cosmetic, even though our orthodontist said Miimii would likely lose all her teeth by the time she was 40 if she didn't. For this reason, I insisted that she get them. In January 1993 she took these glamour photos. She won't let me show her face here, so this is the best I can do.