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Scared to Swim...a Followup Post

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

First of all, I think you for all of the kind responses to my post about 'scared to swim' this morning! I love SP! You all are so supportive!

One of the comments was by LOUDPIPES who asked, 'why are you scared?' Great question!!! And, one I'm still working through this evening. Why am I scared...and "what", excactly, am I scared of?

I swam laps from January through early May of this year. Actually, last summer I swam laps at our local pool, too. I have been in the water since I was little and used to 'live' at the pool when I was a kid. So, sorry that my post sounded like I was scared of the water...I'm not.

I'm also not afraid of lakes or lake water! Just look at my background photo...I learned to ski last month! We have a lakehouse and I spend a lot of time on and in the water. So, I'm not scared of the lake.

I'm not really scared of swimming laps, either. I do not find it as fun as running outside, biking outside, running on a treadmill, spinning, pilates, step, zumba...on & on! But, I actually was enjoying swimming laps before...you finally get in a rhtyhm and it's really quiet.

What have I been scared of these past 3 months that has kept me from swimming laps?

...I'm scared to do another open water swim...it was so scary...the feeling that I might not make it the whole way OR that I might go under. I never 'really' thought I'd drown. Just maybe make a fool of myself?

...I'm scared that I'll start training again and get ready for another triathlon only to find I'm terrified of the swim portion again.

...I'm scared that I'll be one of the slowest few, again, and that the group behind me will catch me and run over me making me feel like I'm in a washing machine twice instead of once.

...I was scared because it was a 'new' gym and I wasn't sure what to expect.

...I was scared because I was afraid there'd be other swimmers and that I'm really slow and don't have great form.

...I was scared to start training again, and then to give up. I had plans on doing 3 more sprint tris this summer, and gave them all up because of my fear.

But...I DID SWIM TODAY!!! emoticon And, I knew I'd be reporting back so I pushed extra hard. emoticon

I took my fins and told myself that I could swim all of the laps with my fins if necessary. I started off with 100 'kick only' with my fins. Not too bad!

Then, I did 100 of freestyle with fins. Hmmm...my arms don't like this! They are already aching! I did another 100. Still hurting! Man, it had only been about 6 or 7 minutes and my goal was 30!!! Another 100. Whew.

Ok...I think I'll take my fins off and give it a try. I'm now sharing a lane with this lady who is doing backstroke back & forth & back & forth without stopping. She's good! Anyway, this is MY practice. Freestyle down & back. That's 450! Freestyle down & back. 500! Again...and again. Whew!

The other lady is gone now. She did a lot of laps, but it was a short workout. Ok, my arms are hurting, but I think I can do 200. Do I remember how??? Just start swimming!

200. Whew. I can do more. Can I make it to 250? Yes! 300? Yes!

By this time, I'm wondering if I can do 500 yards. My 'usual' swim was 500 or 550 (since my OWS, open water swim, was 500 METERS). Can I really still swim 500 yards without stopping!?! YES...I CAN!!! I did it!!! What a terrific feeling!

So, even with my 'poor' form, I can swim 500! Actually, I was taking a class this spring and my coach kept telling me my form was good. But, how come it took me 17 mins to swim 500 meters when others finished so much quicker? I 'feel' sloppy.

Now, I'm sitting here proud of myself. I faced a fear, once again, and conquered it. I WILL tri AGAIN!!! And, it'll be GREAT! I will get in some type of class. I will practice, somehow, open water swimming. And, I WILL CONTINUE to be a TRIATHLETE!!!

emoticon (Thanks again, Sparky Friends!!!)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • LIV2RIDE
    emoticon emoticon emoticon You are amazing! Great job.
    3493 days ago
  • DDOORN
    Kudos to keeping on pushing the envelope!

    Don
    3493 days ago
  • STAROFD00M
    emoticon emoticon
    3493 days ago
  • CCHELLEZ
    Head games. It's always the same. Isn't that a line in some song?
    I've had the panic attack bit with the swim portion of tri even though I trained in the same place as the race. My mind invented sharks and other silly reasons to freak.
    But I'm a water baby so without the pressure of a competition, I love to swim.

    I'll have to keep your blog in mind next time my head plays games with me.
    3494 days ago
  • TURNINGJ
    Yay!!! You can do it.... :)
    3494 days ago
  • STARGAZER08
    WAY TO GO!!! emoticon
    3494 days ago
  • PAMAZON
    Don't know if you've looked into the book Total Immersion by Terry Laughlin. My library has it, and I usually check it out once a year and review it to improve my form. It taught me a totally different way to position my body while swimming which ended up making it feel like the water was supporting me, rather than me trying to stay up in the water. Changed my swimming life! I still haven't managed to put it to work DURING the tri, I feel like my form turns to crap when all those people and adrenaline are added into the mix. But I'm sure I do better than I would otherwise! Keep working hard, you got this!
    emoticon
    3494 days ago
  • RHONDALYN10
    Way to go!
    If it is any consolation - I am a slow swimmer as well.....
    3494 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6834032
    Great news! It will only get easier! emoticon
    3494 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2659174
    Yay! Always awesome to get through the workouts you're dreading... :)
    3494 days ago
  • LILPAT3
    Trust me...I know all too well what it feels like for the wave behind you to catch up to you and swim over you, or runners to catch up and pass you, which is my biggest downfall.
    Triathlon is a way of life. My form suxs and I am a slow, slow swimmer. I can't run...not a step...and I still compete. I kick booty and take names on the bike and get to waddle along and watch all those I worked so hard to pass on the bike portion, pass me...I still compete. When I get to the swim portion in open water, I am usually physically ill before I start, but I still do okay. I keep working and getting better and faster. I know I will never be elite but I love this game. I think you do too! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3494 days ago
  • ROXIT22222
    Way to go! Is there any way you can practice Open water swims in your area, with out all the people around? I have thought of doing that at some point, we have kayaks and I was going to have my husband kayak next to me. But so far there hasn't been good enough weather, and I don't fit back into my wet suit that I have.
    3494 days ago
  • LISABIT
    Way to go! Take that fear and keep it working for you. As for speed, is it really that important? Isn't it more important that you can do it and finish?
    LisaBit emoticon
    3494 days ago
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