Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tri'ing to Swim

What in the world was I thinking signing up for the triathlon when swimming is up first.

First of all. I don't...didn't...swim. I had one set of lessons growing up and never really learned how. There was a summer at Bear Lake when my aunt taught me to float on my back and so I have always and forever reverted to that. I hate having water on my face so swimming with my head in the water has never really been an option. I have a huge fear of drowning. And I hate holding my breath. Let's not even mention the things that you find floating in the pool.

Wow. Definitely should have signed up for this triathlon shouldn't I have. Oh man does not even begin to describe it.

My friend, Christine and I are bound and determined to swim and not just swim to survive but swim and do the best we can. We have swimming lessons with a competitive swimming coach once a week (aka neighbor who was suckered in, an amazing coach and swimmer that broke swimming records in high school). He and his wife are both amazing and do olympic triathlons.

Christine told him from the beginning that she was terrified of the deep end, that I was terrified of having my head in the water and that our other friend, Heidi, was just terrified. He just laughed and probably didn't think she was serious. She was dead on.

Our first lesson was..dare I say rocky. After swimming half a lap for him to see what our skill level was, he kindly told us that we were both at the same level and needed to start with the basics. Our first lesson was holding onto the side of the pool trying to get comfortable with the breathing. We left feeling less that enthusiastic and wondered if we would ever really figure it out.

After five weeks of swimming I can tell you...I now swim with my head in the water. I haven't drowned and am swimming full laps without drinking gallons of water (not so much the first few weeks, I assure you I drank more than my fair share of pool water). I am learning to separate the water and air and don't feel like I am going to choke or drowned when I get a mouth full of water or someone sends a huge wave over my head as I am taking a breath. I am slow but I make it across.

Christine and I have been swimming about 6 to 8 hours a week just to get comfortable in the water and to practice what we are learning with our coach. It is hard. Sometimes I don't know how I am going to do it and feel like I am taking ten steps back. But there is nothing better than coming out of the pool and being able to say that we did it. We are getting better, we are building endurance and somehow we are going to make it to the finish line.

I would never be able to do this without my friend, Christine. Seriously she pushes me when I just want to quit and move on. Hopefully I do the same for her. If we just keep tri'ing together we know that we can do it.