Swimming Is No Joke....
As adults, the only way we are introduced to new places and enter unchartered territory is when create it. This is completely unlike our childhood experiences, where our parents signed us up for new adventures, traveled with us to new places, brought us new friends, and helped us explore. I like this old feeling of new-ness of learning something in unchartered territory.
So I decided to re-create it and train for a sprint triathlon. Bike 13 miles....okay no problem. I'm a Soul Cycle fanatic. Although it is off-road, I have a mountain bike (an oldie but goodie). Run 3 miles....okay box check number two....I can run. Chris and I ran a 1/2 marathon last November without formal "training" in 2 hr. 12 minutes.
Swim....well....swimming is no joke. This motion that is swimming, the movement of gliding through the water with what looks like little effort, will take some training. I knew it wouldn't be easy. To be transparent, I work out nearly every day and I try to push myself to try new workouts to keep things fresh and keep my body guessing, changing. I NEVER SWIM. A 750M swim is 15 laps @ Lifetime Fitness indoor pool. Does this cross over to an open water swim in freezing Lake Tahoe.....well we shall see.
Day one in the pool left me a bit out of sorts. It was definitely a demoralizing moment when the supposed-to-be beautiful movement in the lane is actually a failing of the arms, straining of the neck, struggle to stay afloat and make progress. I felt discombobulated and disoriented. Water up my nose (that childlike burning sensation....ugh), my ears sloshing with fluid (where are the Swimmer's Ear Drops when I need them), and my eyes wishing hatred on me as I didn't bring any goggles. But my day one goal....get familiar with being in the water. And this I accomplished. Even through the nightmarish mess that was occurring in lane 5, I was in. We had bonded...the water and me. And I was determined to inch my way toward becoming a "swimmer" slowly but surely.
Prior to heading to the gym for day two, I went to Dick's Sporting Goods and purchased some goggles and a nose plug. The Speedo goggles were the "competitive" style - I would be there at some point right? My goal for day two was to get my head in the water, under the water, and actually, swim freestyle. I watched a few YouTube videos on proper breathing and form, kicking and arm strokes. I felt more ready on day two....at least more prepared. Not only did it feel good to be in the water again, my mind was in the right place. Okay, for real though, the breathing is tough. My technique was allowing on two strokes per breath and this frustrated me at first. Basically alternating each stroke with a gasp for air. Right (breath), left, right (breath), left, right (breath), left..... Once I let go of trying to control this and quit stretching for three strokes per breath I started to feel a rhythm come alive. Every other was my game. Why fight it. I decided to stick with it. At the end of day two, 15 laps - 750M, I could swim down and back with proper form ONE TIME! That's it....one time! But that was enough for me. The small progress was enough to make me realize that small steps in the right direction will get me there.
I'll be back for more (said in my deep conquering voice).
I'll be back.