I went to the pool yesterday and it was a day of many firsts. I’m so excited to tell you.
- The first, “first” was the fact that I was actually looking forward to getting in the pool. My mini-victory on Sunday gave me the needed excitement to want to get back in the pool to see if I could do it again.
- My second “first” was that I went in the pool yesterday afternoon. As I mentioned in earlier posts, I try really hard to avoid a full pool and I try to go in the early mornings or on weekends, later in the day. I was hoping I could get in the pool with only a few people around because it was 4:15 in the afternoon and I figured everyone would be at work. Well, that wasn’t the case. And I have to ask, why the hell weren’t all those people – other swimmers and parents of the children in the pool – at work?
- I got out of work early, went for a run and then planned on getting in the pool for a bit. I’ve never had the ambition to get into the pool after an afternoon workout. It took a lot of willpower to not change my mind after my run. I guess it was a good idea that I parked at the Y and did my out-and-back run from there. It would have been really lame of me to actually go to the Y and not go in – so I went it!
- Well, I did go into the Y, that was good, but I almost didn’t get into the pool. As I just mentioned, the pool was full. And you know I’m not ready to share a swim lane with someone. Plus I don’t know the etiquette for asking someone to join them in their lane. It seems a bit too forward for me at this time. So what’s a girl to do when all the lanes are full? I stalled. I took my time in locker room. Then when I couldn’t stall in there any longer, I went out by the pool and hovered near the edge of the pool looking for some indication as to whether or not any of the swimmers would be leaving any time soon. I couldn’t get a good read on it and I didn’t want to share a lane so I went into the sauna instead. This too was a first for me. I don’t like or understand saunas. Why the hell does anyone want to voluntarily overheat and sweat? I try my damnedest to not do either of those activities, so to purposefully sit in a small suffocating room, just makes no sense to me. But that’s how desperate I was to waste time and stall.
- I was in the sauna, hating every minute of it – yet trying to look like I enjoyed it so the other people in there didn’t get overly concerned as to what the hell I was doing in there. I was feeling hot, sweaty and light-headed (and yes, this all happened in less than 5 minutes) as I was trying to figure out what my next move was going to be if no one left the pool. I was contemplating just changing out of my swim gear and going back home. But what a colossal waste of my time, so that was going to be my last resort. It was at that time that I had a flashback to college. I used to drive to campus and if I couldn’t find a parking spot I would drive back home and skip class. This happened a lot. Brian and my other roommate came to expect it from me. When I would show back up at our house after only a few minutes they both knew I couldn’t find a parking spot! They both thought it was odd that I’d take the time and make the effort to go to campus, simply to leave. And while it seems odd now all these years later – it felt natural at the time. But just as I was contemplating leaving the Y without getting in the pool, I saw someone get out of pool. Hot damn! I sprang out of the sauna and grabbed the one open swim lane before anyone else could claim it.
- For those that don’t go into lap pools, the water is a bit cool. Not cold, but the first dip in can sometimes be a bit chilly. Let’s just say it’s more than chilly when you just got out of the damn sauna. That was fricken cold!
- I did one quick backstroke lap to warm up (literally) and then I was ready to start my “breathing” laps.
- And here is the biggest and most exciting first that I experienced yesterday… I DID 9 LAPS NONSTOP!!!! Holy Crap! I actually breathed for 9 mother fucking laps! HOT DAMN! I can’t even tell you how exciting it was. And how it pushed me out of my comfort zone in more ways than one.
- I was out of my comfort zone for not only doing 9 laps but for doing over half of them while sharing the lane with a stranger! Eek! My fear came true, someone else wanted to do laps while I was in the pool and I must have looked like the easiest target so he asked to share my lane. While I nodded approvingly that “sure, you can join me in my lane”, I was really screaming NOOOOO – GO AWAY! I’M A NEWBIE AND I NEED TO BE ALONE! But of course, that was my inner monologue only and before I knew it, the guy jumped into my lane with me and was off and swimming.
- I was very concerned about sharing a lane with this stranger for many reasons, but mainly because I can’t swim in a straight line. I can’t bike in a straight line and I really can’t swim in a straight line either. So I became very aware of my surroundings and made a point of staying glued to my right side of the lane. And as I was focused on making sure I didn’t drift into the stranger, much to my surprise I had gone a couple of laps and I was breathing! And I wasn’t even thinking about it, which was even more surprising. HOLY SHIT! I was breathing and not thinking about it.
- But then of course when I realized I had been breathing and not thinking about it, I started thinking about it. Son. Of. A. Bitch. That didn’t last long!
- Another first that I experienced and was completely unprepared for were the waves and splashing that sharing a lane caused. I had never swam that close to someone so I had no idea how one person swimming next to you could cause so much turbulence. But it was really good practice for me. I got a lot of water in my mouth, I got splashed, I got rocked by waves and I kept going. This too got me pretty jazzed. I was shocked that it didn’t freak me out.
- And while I was doing okay in my half of the swim lane, I didn’t plan to stay in the pool very long. However, I wanted to do at least 5 laps; the number of laps I did on Sunday. But once I got to 5, I decided I should do 6 laps – do at least one more lap than I previously did. Keep improving, right!? Once I completed my 6th lap I figured I’d do one more – just because. But then after I was done with 7 laps I realized I was still doing okay and I was only two laps away from doing 9 laps. And 9 laps was a quarter-mile and a quarter-mile was half of what I need to do for the tri. Since I was so close to a 1/4 mile, I had to go for it.
- So I did two more laps for a grand total of 9 mother fucking laps! This was an epic first for me. My cone head, oversized goggles and kick board just kicked ass for 9 non-stop laps.
After 9 laps, I decided to quit while I was ahead so I excitedly got out of the pool. I left the Y and I called Brian immediately to tell him the news. He unfortunately didn’t answer his phone so I left him an overly excited message. I’ve never been excited about swimming and I’ve never given Brian a positive update on my progress – another first!
Until next time,
Gotta run (or swim)