Saturday, January 29, 2011

My take on swimming, part 1

I know you all have been dying to get this blog post, ha ha!. Most of you know I am swimmer. I remember my first swim lessons at age 4 at Optimist Park Pool in Raleigh. I guess these lessons were really just to perfect my stroke because I know I was swimming prior to being 4 years old - I did spend a few years living in the Bahamas and you don't live in the Bahamas without knowing a thing or two about swimming (or maybe it is more accurate to say without knowing a thing or two about not drowning). My swimming days started with a blue suit, an orange bubble, and a heck of a tan but they started early for sure. By the time we moved to Raleigh I was ready to take my ranks as an eager, splashing and thrashing 6-and-under where swimming 1/2 the length of a 25 yard pool into the arms of an awaiting teenager showed little more than a will to survive. And to be perfectly honest, I cannot remember my transition from being a summer swimmer to being a year-round swimmer. Maybe it was a reality that just always was, I dunno. What I do remember is the day I went from being a mediocre swimmer to being a really good swimmer. First long course meet of the year, 50 meter freestyle - Goodstuff Invitational (yes, I was a sprinter once). For you folks familiar with swim lingo I went from being a "B" swimmer to a "AAAA" thanks to that one event. I am getting so old I do not even know if they still have these designations. No one other than my mom probably noticed the break through but  the next thing I knew I was swimming with the senior group and some of the older girls were asking, 'why is she here?' with the teenage sneer we all know and hate. I do have to take a moment to thank the girl who asked that question many many years ago - that one moment in time has brought me years of motivation! Even in Kona, I caught myself thinking, 'what am I doing here, I don't deserve to be here' but like back in the day I reminded myself I had worked hard and I qualified to get here. No one could take that away from me . . . .

Yeah my swimming started early for sure

So basically swimming makes me the triathlete I am today. I cannot even begin to estimate where I would be without my swimming past let alone what kind of triathlete I would be. I have to admit that I probably would never have turned to triathlon if I had not spent so much of my life swimming.  I think anyone can attest to the fact that when they have devoted their whole life to something it is hard to let that life go without replacing it with something. Triathlon has replaced my swimming even though I still consider myself a swimmer (I think everyone else does too). Competing in triathlons is emotionally and physically rewarding, to the extent competitive swimming ever was, if not more. I now find myself in a place where I enjoy helping other triathletes realize that swimming is more than the first leg you "just have to get through." And it is this idea I plan to discuss further in "My take on swimming, part 2."

Ok folks there are only two days left to vote in this month's poll! I am impressed with the poll's progress. Keep checking for the results and for February's new poll!

Train safe. Train smart.