Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Lame Lane Swimming

Last night I broke down and went to Master’s Swim.

"Forgive me Coach... It has been 24 years since my last group swim practice..."

Though I've been toying with the idea for a long time, I never have had the guts to go. I just always assumed I didn't belong there. Masters Swim is for epic swimmers like my Qualifying Aunt, or Ranked Mother. or my friend Alex who breaks NC Records, right?

I'm not that. 
I always feel like a poser at the pool.
I'm a good swimmer, but I don't have it

There is no magic when I slide into the pool, pinned between lane lines, sloshing through my strokes as the other swimmers glide effortlessly through the water.

To say this adventure was outside of my comfort zone would be a severe understatement.

Besides, swimming is a solitary sport. Why bother going to a class where you are likely going to be exposed as a not awesome swimmer poser?

Um. Because...

Holy Freaking Fun, Batman!

Yes. It was Fun. And freakisly hard.

Y Coach - "Ok, swim 300m warm up, then 4 X 100 swim/FTD/swim/Kick, 400 descending, 4x 50 descending, then 10 X 100 descending with 4 @ 2:05, 3 @ 2:00, 2 @ 1:55, and 1 @ 1:50...  Go."

Me - empty stare.

Y Coach - "Go ahead."

Me - "Can you repeat that, in english please? This is only my first day."

Y Coach - "What!?" He shook his head in disbelief.

I nodded and said, "First day. For real. Please explain." 

Y Coach - "You don't swim like it's your first day.... " But he did explain what it all meant.

I wasn't terrible.
But I wasn’t awesome, even in my Awesome-girl swim wear. 

Halfway through Masters Swim I was sucking wind (or water, but air is better, FYI. I would know, I've checked both). At a lot of points I struggled, trying to keep up with the people in my lane. They have a lot of endurance. I have a little speed on them, with no endurance what so ever. It's not an ideal combination.

It’s an interesting feeling, swimming in a circle pattern with a group. I always feel hunted in the water until I start to see my lane mates ahead of me. Then, I become the hunter.

And Y Coach said to me at the end of the night, in a where in the heckfireandshoot did you come from kind of way, "So... You've been swimming alone? All this time?"


He smiled, and I recognized a kindred spirit. "If you come back, you will get faster... So.... see you next week."

It was not a question.

And he might just see me next week.
After all... if we know one thing about me, it's that I am addicted to speed.


(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

I love that you went to master's swim! Good for you! I didn't realize it was for fast people. I thought it was for over 40, just like in a race. I have so much to learn at the pool.

And I did not understand one bit of your workout.

Marnee A said...

Joining a masters team was the best thing I did for myself when I was training for my tri last year. So glad you had an awesome experience. Looking forward to hearing how quickly you get faster!

gba_gf @ Neurosis of the Stay at Home Marathoner said...

No, I don't think this Masters swim is limited to Fast OR "over 40". There were really people there with ALL abilities.

Anonymous said...

Keep Swimming =) Good for you for trying it out!