I went to the pool today. Confession time: Guess the last time I had been in the pool? Early August. Bad wanna be triathlete, bad!
I went to the pool today with zero expectations. The last time I donned a swim cap and goggles was at Irongirl (also in August) There was a lot of panic, a lot of backstroke, and a lot of goose poop in that water that day, but I survived. And I vowed to become a better swimmer. I guess I just didn’t put a time frame on that goal, haha.
So today, I got in the pool. One empty lane on the opposite end of the pool awaited me, and I felt so relieved. The furthest away from spectating eyes. I’m not one who tends to be self conscious, heck I teach aerobics classes and do silly dances in front of rooms full of people. But swimming…if I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times, I feel like an awkward non water creature (perhaps, baby deer with the gangly legs?) trying to cross a river when I swim a length of the pool. While others are gliding silently, I’m splashing and gasping. I cringe at the thought of what must be going through the lifeguards minds as they watch me…besides “is she gonna make it, or am I going to have to get out of my chair?!”
I warmed up with the kick board. 100 yards. Then the pull buoy, 100 yards. Then, I went for it. The forward crawl, or as I like to call it, the “why can’t my arms figure this out” stroke. Here goes nothing. 25 yards…not so bad. Hit the wall, turned around, and then it hit. That familiar “OMG I CAN’T BREATHE IN THE WATER” panic I’m so un-fond of. I hit the wall, stop, composed myself, told myself to “chill the *&%$ out” , not to be confused with “HTFU” (there’s none of that going on in my lane. Not yet!) And started swimming again. I figured I’d do a ladder workout. You know, to pretend like I had a clue as to what I was doing.
75 yards. Rest. 100 more yards. Rest. 200 more yards. Rest. 325 more yards. Shock.
325 yards is probably laughable to most of you. But just earlier this year, it took me 4 months to work my way up from one measly length of the pool, to 300 yards for my first triathlon. And I still freaked out and panicked that day. But now, almost a year later, and after 4 months off (oops) I could do that 300 yards towards the end of a workout, without hesitation or struggle. I just about did a happy dance in the shallow end (ok, maybe I did do one, shh!). I figured I wouldn’t push my luck and call this a successful first workout back in the pool.
I have a loong, loooooong way to go as far as my swimming is concerned. But today was a big fat kick in my swimming fear’s booty, and a big fat boost to my “I can totally do this” confidence.
After my cool down, I got out of the pool and grabbed my towel. A lady in another lane stopped and asked me if I do triathlons. I replied “I did my first two this year, both sprints, I’ve got a lot to learn”. I don’t know why I felt she needed the explanation. I still feel so humbled around REAL triathletes (her swim cap from a previous race gave it away). And you know what she said to me? She said “oh, that’s all? You look like one of those ultra-triathletes.” I thought “HA! OBVIOUSLY (in Antoine Dodson speak) you didn’t see me swimming”.
But I quickly shut down the doubt inside, and instead replied “not yet. Eventually, but not yet” (so you can run and tell THAT! Sorry I couldn’t help myself)
Chase (swim!) down your dreams my friends!!