Monday, February 14, 2011

Maybe I can swim

So when I was preparing for Ironman one of the things I did was take an open-water clinic to help me calm down in open water.  The course was with a gentleman named Peter - aka seahiker.com.

My riding buddies Judith and Cindy swore by him and I knew I needed help with calming down in open water.  It was kind of ridiculous the panic attacks I would have every single time.  So I signed up.

It did work - I calmed down and was able to get through each swim without the usual 3 minute panic attack at the start.  I was still as slow as molasses but at least I was calm. 

I have been told a zillion times swimming is all about technique - blah, blah, blah and I have worked and worked on it.  I have done or at least I thought I was doing what everyone was telling me and was just frustrated.  Seriously - super frustrated - so frustrated that I started not wanting to swim because I was so tired of well sucking at it.  It seemed no matter how often I swam or how much I worked at it I just could not get faster.   I used to joke that I had one speed - I could swim forever but only at one speed.  It got to the point where last year I just stopped swimming period.  I was not registered for any triathlons and well I was tired of no changes and being passed by absolutely everyone.  It was getting old and I was fed up.  So I did the only reasonable thing I stopped swimming. 

This year I decided it was time to get back into doing a few tri's and that meant getting back into the pool. yeah...  To say I was less than thrilled would be the understatement of the year.  Once again Judith to the rescue - we started talking about it and she was like why don't you come and swim in Peter's clinic and work on technique.    I was skeptical - seriously - like I have not been down this road a zillion times before - but she was persistant and he did help me with my open water swimming so I decided what the heck.  I

He keeps it pretty basic - he focuses on relazing first and then breaks the stroke down to the very basics.    I took to heart what he said and how he explained it and then set to put it in practice.  Skeptical but optimistic.  We did a time trial 2 weeks in and well shockingly guess who was at the back again - yep me.  Peter was great though he was like just work on the technique, he broke it down even more for me, he said be patient - he was like say this in your head " not now, not now, now; not now, not now, now"  So I went and practiced it on my own.  It has been 4 weeks now and I feel better in the water and he said I was faster but I was still skeptical. 

So Yesterday I went to the pool to work on my homework and decided to time myself on 1000 metres non-stop. Just to see if I had gotten back to where I normally am which is between 28 - 30 minutes.  I mean it had been a year.  Well I did it, was not tired and time.......23min 58 seconds!!!! OMG - are you kidding me?  WAAAHHOOOOOOO  Okay so I am not going to win a gold medal or anything any time soon but this is huge!  I can't believe that after all this time - just some simple visualizations and breaking the stroke down to basics and I already improved that much. 

Now I am super excited for the next session to see what I need to do now.  I can not believe that after all this time I have finally had the breakthrough.  Now I need to keep it quiet from the BOY.  I need him to think that I as super duper slow as usual - lull him into a feeling of complacency. 

I might just have a fighting chance.

Peace out Shaun

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