Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Chlorine: it's what's for dinner!

Monday night was my first of 7 Triathlon training swim classes, I am SO lucky to have found this! It is through my gym where I work, so it was even at a discount. I paid 28 dollars for 7 lessons and there would have been 9 but I registered late! Still, what a DEAL and a blessing!

I have goggles and a suit (it's a pinch too big, it bags in 2 places!) But didn't have a cap and I want to get used to swimming in what I am going to wear for my race, so I picked up a pretty SWEET, pink and blue Speedo cap with Stars on it!

Here is my contemplative swim cap shot. 
To swim or not to swim, yada, yada, yada...

I was terribly nervous before my swim class. I posted my nervousness on FB even! It was worse than a date or an interview! 

I felt like hiding under the covers and just skipping out. That to me says one thing:  FEAR. 

What am I afraid of when it comes to swimming? 
  • My face in the water: I don't like the feeling of it
  • Swallowing water or up my nose: happens ALL the time
  • Not being able to breath: I hold my breath or breathe rapidly because of this and it causes me to....swallow water. 
  • Sinking or NOT being able to touch the bottom. I don't like not feeling solid ground under me 

A number of these fears became CLEAR tonight in the water. I hold my breath then try to breathe and choke, I see the bottom of the pool and think about being in murky lake waters and panic. EVEN with goggles on, I close my eyes tight when my face is in the water, I dislike. it. that. much.  Sigh. 
Well, I was messing around with my camera before the lesson and snapped this.  

The tattoo says: 
Isaiah 43 which reads: 

Listen to the Lord who created you.
      O Israel, the one who formed you says,
   “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
      I have called you by name; you are mine.
  When you go through deep waters,
      I will be with you.
   When you go through rivers of difficulty,
      you will not drown.

   When you walk through the fire of oppression,
      you will not be burned up;
      the flames will not consume you.
 For I am the L
ord, your God,
      the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

I repeated that over to myself and began to relax.  It's there on my leg, always reminding me that he has called me by name, he is with me. I may, will, and have gone through difficult waters, but I will not drown. 

To begin, the instructor had me do one lap of the front crawl and then had me focus on one drill tonight: 

To promote good body roll and head alignment This looks like regular freestyle in very slow-motion. ( you add breathing in after a while, by rolling your head so you are facing the floor of the pool while still on your side.)

  • One arm is extended forward, pointing toward your destination (front hand).
  • The other is backwards, pointing toward where you just left (back hand), with the arm resting against the edge of your body.
  • You should be on your side, with the back hand side of your body up, the front hand side of your body down (toward the bottom of the pool).
  • Your ear should be against your front hand shoulder, chin in line with your chest, eyes sideways (or even up a bit), mouth out of the water (so you can breath).

The instructor said I was better than I made myself sound, which is a GOOD thing! I guess I really was down on myself, so that is something I have to watch! 7 weeks of lessons and swimming 3 days a week will show improvement quicker than I can say "sweet baggy suit". 

ONE down, six to go. 

Have you overcome a fear, like fear of water? How did you do it? Do you use your faith to build yourself up?


Shan said...

Awesome job, Mary! That Bible verse is beautiful. By the way, I do not like swimming either, am not good at it, and feel all the same thing you listed. I don't think I could even swim in deep water anymore, it's been so long since I tried and I was never good at it to begin with. I had a traumatic experience with swimming/water when I was a toddler (I can still remember it, even though I was 2 or 3! Seriously!) and I am convinced that event is responsible for my lifelong dislike of water and swimming phobia.

Mellissa said...

My husband can not swim at all and this story reminds me of him. He event went to lessons and still can't swim!

I am really scared of snorkeling for some reason, my fear is that an animal might think I am a tasty snack.

neatandnutritious said...

I've had a fear of my face getting wet/water getting in my eyes for as long as I can remember. And although Isaiah 43 is one of my favorite passages, I never used it in the context you just did. Thank you for the great reminder! Swimming is the one part event keeping me from trying a triathlon, so maybe I should hop in the pool and see how it goes for a while...

Paula Rodriguez said...

Absolutely wonderful!! Love the wording on your tattoo. I cannot believe what a great deal you got on the triathalon training. You can't beat that.

I admire your swimming. I am 40+ years old and I cannot swim. Today, because i have a sore ankle, I'll be exercising in the pool where it's shallow. My fear is that I will sink. It would be wonderful if I could learn to swim.

Anyways, you're awesome, but I'm sure you know that already.

Dr. TriRunner said...

Awesome job Mary!!

It's crazy.. I posted last night about my Kayak theory, and I swear today ALL of my tri buddies (that includes YOU!) are posting about swimming!! Whether it's needing motivation, fears for the first open water swim, or just needing to make a comeback to the pool. Seriously... go read it!

Beautiful bible verse!

Megan said...

Awesome job! I have the same fears that you do, and that is what keeps me from trying a triathlon. Way to go for conquering your fears!

SherRon, Shoes To Lose said...

You look so thrilled at your accomplishment! Way to overcome that fear!

fitfunandfabulous said...

Wow that sounds awesome! I am dying to take a swim class!

Way to go for overcoming your fears :)

Run, Bike, Knit said...

Good for you for facing your fear!! Woo Hoo!!!

I remember facing my first open water swim (which coincidentally was three years ago today!). It took me a good 3-5 minutes to finally get in the water. I had to psych myself up for it.

On my Road ID I have to the words from Matthew 5:36 on it to remind me to get through my doubts and fears. "Be not afraid, only believe."

P.S. I LOVE the photos of you from your last post (on the magazine and with Gene Kelly). They are AWESOME!!!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

way to go on getting out there!! seriously what a bargain for the classes too!!

overcoming fears for me is about just jumping like you did...If I think about it too long well that's just asking for disaster

That Pink Girl said...

Way to tackle swimming head on! And I looove your swim cap - it is so you!!!

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