Sunday, March 11, 2012

Learning the Ropes

So, I have this thing coming up the first weekend in know, my first triathlon.  Anyway, I feel nervous and excited about the whole thing.  It's not a huge tri.  The swim is 1/2 a mile, the bike is 18 miles and the run is 4 miles.  But, it's still my first and I'm taking it very seriously.

Even though the event is still months off, I'm trying to slowly prepare for it.  I recently start swimming once a week and I'm quickly learning all the rules.  I find swimming intimidating.  Not the act of swimming.  I'm actually a pretty strong swimmer.  It's the whole public pool thing.  First of all, I'm pretty freaked out by public pools.  I think they're really gross.  But, I know that I have to use one if I'm going to train for the tri.  After all, it's still winter in Upstate NY, and I don't think a swim in the lake would be a very good idea, even if we are having unseasonably warm temperatures.  Also, I'm really intimidated by all of the other swimmers who are in the pool during lap swim time...especially when I have to share a lane with someone because it's too busy, which seems to happen a lot.  A few weeks ago I showed up at the pool and all of the lanes were in use.  It was the first time I experienced a full pool.  I didn't want to ask someone if I could share a lane, so I just turned around and went home.  Then, I stayed away from the pool for a couple of weeks.  I found reasons (excuses) not to swim.  Obviously, this won't work for me if I want to build up my swimming endurance.  So, this Saturday I went to the pool prepared to confront my fears about lane sharing.  I had a little pep talk with myself on the way there.  What, you don't talk to yourself on the way to the gym?  Oh well, I guess we all have our quirks.  When I got to the pool, all of the lanes were in use.  So, I just stood there clutching my swim cap and goggles and stared nervously at the pool.  Luckily, at that moment a woman got out.  I thought I was going to get away free and clear, but she was just getting a kick board to swim with.  I took it as my opportunity and walked up to her and asked if I could share a lane.  She smiled and said "Of course."  I felt so much better and realized it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

During my swim, I had to pay attention to her and make sure I wasn't crowding her.  At first, it felt awkward.  But, over time we got into a groove and I ended up having a really great swim.  So, I guess I can figure all of this out.  One thing is certain, the next time I go to the pool, I won't feel nervous if all of the lanes are full.


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