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.