Sunday, October 21, 2012

Humble Pie

So, you think you're hot stuff because you can run 15 miles without stopping?

Or can easily attain full expression of Tree Pose?

Well then. Let's see how well you do when I toss you in a pool.

I thought I was in GREAT shape at the end of August. I had run over 500 miles this year and was totally kicking butt in my Vinyasa yoga class.

And then I got into a pool to swim laps.

If you immediately want to feel like a completely out of shape schmuck, go jump into a pool.

It'll be a nice big slice of humble pie.

My first attempt at lap swimming was downright embarassing. It was September 22 - 3 weeks to the day after breaking my foot. I wasn't very excited about the prospect of swimming laps, but felt pretty confident that I would be good at it. When I was a kid, I was always a strong swimmer. I consistently placed higher than me age group in swimming lessons... I remember a particular year when I was in elementary school and placed in the most advanced class with a group of boys who were at least in 9th grade.

During the summers, I spent hours a day at the pool that my family belonged to. My best friend Abby and I were very evenly matched and would constantly race each other and see how many laps we could swim underwater without coming up for air.

So, when I got into the pool in September 2012, I (for some crazy reason) assumed that I would still be a good swimmer.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. VERY wrong.

That day, I was barely able to swim 400 meters in 20 minutes, taking long breaks in between each 25 meter lap.  Apparently mad swimming skills don't stay with you after a 15-year hiatus.

Although I was tired and annoyed that I had no stamina whatsoever, I enjoyed swimming that day. In the water, it didn't really matter that my foot was broken. I didn't feel gimpy or handicapped when I was in the pool. I could move fast(ish) and didn't need anyone's help. It was heavenly.

Now, nearly a month later, I am up to 1000 yards or meters (depending on whether I am swimming at the downtown Y or the Chester Y) and feeling like I'm getting some stamina back. I'm finding swimming to be exponentially more fun than the stationary bike, which I pretty much hate. Despite my improvement, I still feel like the most out of shape woman in the world when I can barely swim for 25 minutes at what seems to be an incredibly slow pace. I was running 15 miles... now I can barely swim half a mile. But I am going to commit to the swim. Once I do start running again, I'm thinking it will be the perfect cross-training exercise. And maybe someday when I'm not quite so pathetic, I will attempt a sprint triathlon. Who knows.

Big plans are the only thing keeping me going!

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