Friday, October 30, 2009

Sometimes I surprise myself

In an effort to spice up the routine today I decided to hit the lap pool and try my hand at swimming. I was dang nervous since my last attempt at swimming 2 years ago was a dismal failure. I could barely make it to one side and back without dying. It was so hard and horrible that I haven't tried it again till today.

Nervous as I was I must say that I did have some extra confidence knowing that at least this time around I've been running, so my heart and lungs are much stronger than last time. Still, I was nervous and called my sister, who has done a triathlon, to get some swimming tips. She talked to me about form and told me to try to swim without stopping for at least 15 minutes. Remembering my last experience I thought there was no way I could swim continuously that long. She assured me that my current state of fitness would help me along and that I could do it. The main thing was to focus on my breathing, 3 strokes then breathe left, 3 strokes then breathe right. Got it, on to the pool!

When I got to the pool I had a great realization as I confidently walked out to the water in nothing but my bathing suit. I remember being in high school and even college and being MORTIFIED of wearing a bathing suit in front of people! If I ever did it was with a t-shirt and board shorts. Sometimes I'd ditch the t-shirt but NEVER swam without board shorts as I felt my legs and thighs were too hideous to be shown to the public. Ha ha!! Guess the whole birthing process, where I had a room full of total strangers not even blink an eye as they stared at me in all my glory, kind of helped me get over that fear. That and just realizing that this is my body and imperfect as it is, it works hard and I'm blessed to have it!

So I found an empty lane, pulled on my goggles, took a deep breath, jumped in and started counting my strokes, "one, two, three, breathe left!, one two three breathe right!" Before I knew it I was at the other side of the pool! Feeling so pleased with myself for making it to the other side without dying, I thought I'd be fancy and try to do that neat little Michael Phelps flippy thing where he turns around. Um, yeah, that was awkward. After doing a few uncontrolled flips in the water that never led to actually turning around, I realized I would need some experienced tutelage before I tried that again. Back to swimming, "1,2,3, breathe left! 1,2,3, breathe right!" Back and forth I went without stopping. My heart was pumping and my arms were burning but I was moving across the water and feeling strong! 15 minutes went by and I knew I had more in me. I pushed hard for 5 more minutes and stopped to catch my breath at the 20 minute mark. "Wow" I thought, "this is kind of fun!" I pushed off the wall again and went at it for 10 more minutes. After half an hour I stopped and started backfloating to cool down. As I floated down my lane, staring up at the ceiling I thought back on how doubtful I was of my ability to swim for 15 minutes. I smiled as I happily realized that sometimes I surprise myself with what I can really do.


  1. Ha HA! Go Becca GO! See! I knew you would get a good time because of running. It helps to have the lungs working for you. AWESOME 30 minutes in the pool! I am SO proud of you! If you can do 1 hour on the bike, I highly suggest you sign up for a triathlon!In the Sprint distance you would need 10 minutes max in the pool, an hour max on the bike, and 30 max for the run! (based on how in shape I assume you are) DO IT! DO IT!

  2. I am SO impressed you swam for that long! I started swimming a couple weeks ago (which I have always sucked at) and I can only do down-back-down without stopping. Plus, I have to breathe every right time. I was disappointed since I should have the respitory capability, but basically, I just don't know how to swim. I think I'm wasting a ton of energy when I swim. So I'm really impressed with you! I'll have to go back and try the 3-count. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Holy cow! I am impressed! Not a chance I could do that (really, not just pretending to be humble here). Seriously, that is really impressive, you've gotta do a triathlon! Your Michael Phelps flipping thing had me laughing so hard, oh my gosh. I love your drive Becca, you are awesome. And you're totally right, I know it ain't lookin' pretty from the back in my swimsuit anymore but I just don't care. I do think being a runner makes you appreciate your body, and even if there's cellulite, you know you're healthy and you're grateful for those legs. This post ALMOST makes me want to try my hand at swimming, we'll see. It really is a great alternative to running on the treadmill when it's cold outside.