Becoming A Swimmer

I have a confession. I hate swimming. Maybe it’s claustrophobia? Maybe I don’t like staring at the bottom of a pool? Maybe I don’t feel comfortable in the water? Maybe I don’t like restricted breathing?

Most likely, I don’t like being stuck in my own head. There’s some creepy stuff in there, y’all.

Whatever the reason, we aren’t friends. Getting to the pool, even once a week, is a challenge.  I LOVE running and I LOVE cycling (which will be its own post) but swimming and I are having relationship issues. I know I need to swim. But I never WANT to swim.

I bought a cheap waterproof MP3 player off Amazon and it helped. The sound quality is horrible, everything sounds like it’s being played through a tin can, but it distracts me enough to keep me in the pool a little longer…and for only $30, it was worth it.

I did my first open water swim a week before Cypress Tri.

Before I started, I took a selfie.

Here it is.

Don’t I look excited??

A couple of minutes into the swim, about 100 yards from shore, as I bobbed up and down unable to see my hand in front of my face, I had a moment, not of panic but of WHAT WAS I THINKING?

Let’s just say, I’m glad I signed up for Ironman before my first open water adventure…because you can bet, as sure as the sun shines, that I would have chickened out right then and there.

2.4 miles of this? Oh hell no. Nope. No way. Uh no.

Which leaves me with quite the conundrum. I have to swim nearly 2.5 miles, in a lake, in 10 months. This girl needs some serious open water practice and some serious time in the pool. Serious, like as in, every day.

Which leaves me here, semi-complaining about how much I don’t like to swim. Well, it’s time for that to change.

Upon recommendation from a friend, I bought Swim Speed Secrets for Swimmers and Triathletes. It’s full of great exercises and drills that you do both in and out of the pool. I joined a local swim club and have been swimming there twice a week, and I am spending another two hours a week in the pool at the Y.

Much like anything else I don’t really enjoy, swimming is an opportunity to grow – to take the person that I am today and turn myself into a better person tomorrow.

To take a part of me that is weak and do whatever it takes to make it strong.

Whatever. It. Takes. No excuses. No complaining.

I may never genuinely love swimming, but then again – there was a time when I thought I would never love running either…

…there’s hope, and that’s all I need.

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