I realize it’s been awhile since I’ve updated you on my progress. And that’s because there wasn’t any progress to discuss. In fact I was getting pretty frustrated and depressed.
Last week I had a session with my trainer and he once again said I was doing better than I realized. However, that did not make me feel better. I ended up having a long conversation with him later that same day and I told him that I’m very frustrated and while I can see how far I’ve come, I just fear I have too far yet to go. Considering when I started this journey I couldn’t put my face under the water – I could appreciate the improvements I’ve made. But I felt I still had too much ahead of me. I was scared I wasn’t going to be ready in time. I told him that the fear of dying is real. I truly feel like I could die. That’s not something I’m making up to make my blog post sound more interesting, it’s something I think about constantly. He said that he remembers having “I can’t do it” conversations with me for the Fall 50 and that he wanted me to remember how well that turned out. To which I said to him, “I may have wanted to die while training for the Fall 50, but I never really thought I was going to die”. Again, swimming is SO MUCH DIFFERENT than anything else I’ve ever tried to do.
I went home and told Brian about my conversation I had with my Coach and he agreed with Craig. He also told me that I have to keep trying and see how it goes. I tried explaining to him all the “things” I still needed to learn/conquer by the end of August and how I felt I didn’t have enough time. To which he replied…. “you’re looking for someone to tell you that you shouldn’t do it and that you should defer, no one is going to tell you that. You are the only person who can make that decision, no one else will”.
I don’t know why that revelation bothered me so much, but it did. And it’s probably because it was accurate. I wanted Coach Craig to tell me I wasn’t going to be ready and that I should defer. Or have Brian tell me that there’s still too much to learn and I’d be better off waiting until next year. If someone else told me, then I’d be able to look at myself in the mirror and feel like I wasn’t copping out. I could tell everyone.. “well, my coach said I wasn’t going to be ready – so I better follow his advice”. It’s a way for me to push accountability onto someone else. Because I don’t quit… I needed someone else to tell me to do it. Then I wouldn’t be quitting, I’d be listening to the advice of my Coach or my husband.
That was last week. As I said, I was feeling pretty low.
But this is a new week and I’m happy to report I’ve made progress. BIG progress!
When I got in the pool on Tuesday I was able to go 8 lengths (or 4 laps) completely un-aided. No buoys and no flippers. I was JOYOUS! I rested a long time in between each length, but I at least did it. The most I had done previously was 4 lengths or 2 laps. And those were horrible, I felt like I was sinking I was panicky and I just powered through the lengths but it wasn’t pretty. But on Tuesday, I felt “okay”. I won’t say I was comfortable, because that’s an adjective that I may never use to describe me and swimming. But I didn’t feel like I was sinking (for the most part) and was swimming with decent technique.
But as I may have already mentioned, whenever I have a breakthrough like this, my next time in the pool is usually disastrous and I slip back 5 steps. BUT I’m thrilled to report when I got in the pool Wednesday evening, not only did I not slip backwards but I did 12 lengths/6 laps! Holy balls, how did I do that?!?! I took long breaks in between each length because my heart rate was elevated, but I did it. Woot Woot Fuckers! I rested and alternated between recovering for :60 and recovering for :30. So it took me a long time to complete the 12 lengths, but hey at least I did it. And let me just repeat… Woot Woot Fuckers!
And then despite my desire to sleep in this morning I got my butt out of bed and hit the Y again nice and early. I actually walked through the doors at 4:58am, too damn early! But it was totally worth it because I did 12 lengths/6 laps AGAIN! That’s right people – in the words of one Miss Brittany Spears…. oops, I did it again! AND I was able to reduce some of my rest breaks. Instead of alternating between a 60 second and a 30 second rest break, I did all 30s! So talk about 36 hours of progress! I’m hoping this means that I’ve turned another corner. If I can truly keep doing lengths without flippers and can work on reducing my rest breaks, I may have a shot of doing this!!
And since no one will give me permission to defer and as one of my co-workers told me today… “you’re too stubborn to NOT do this”, my only option is to keep at it and keep making progress.
Until next time,
Gotta run (or swim)
Side note: I’m doing my first open water swim this weekend. Lord help me. If nothing else, it should make for an interesting blog post!