I have a very unique relationship with swimming. I think most triathletes do. To me (again..me, just my opinion) there are people who are swimmers and there are people who are not. Some grew up swimming in school…and some didn’t. I didn’t. Yes I took swim lessons but my definition of swimming was floating on my back to avoid the scary and hairy seaweed that grows in the lakes in the Midwest when I fell wakeboarding. If I was REALLY serious about swimming I would jump off the pier into a Lake Michigan channel and swim to the ladder as fast as I could. Then one day last summer I was late to work because I wanted to squeeze in an ocean swim on a beautiful Friday morning. Not only was I late for work, but I was late for an important meeting and I had the WORST goggle lines/imprints on my face. They were SO obvious! But I didn’t care:) At that moment I finally felt like a swimmer…I was no longer a “runner” but I was also “swimmer” and therefore I was really a triathlete.
Slowly but surely my love for swimming is growing. Despite my fear of large fish and kelp eating me in the ocean, I have always enjoyed ocean swimming. Now I am starting to enjoy the pool too! I still don’t quit understand why all my SoCal friends loved the river water at Vineman 70.3 this year, but they don’t understand why I love the running so much either so I guess I’ll give them a break:)
In all honesty it is fun to make significant improvements at something. The past 2 years have been really difficult for me in regards to running because I knew my knee was giving out. I knew my poor femur could only take so much more pounding. My body was telling me to slow down, cut back, give your knee a break! It would swell up so bad mid run that I couldn’t even bend it by the end of the run. You could see it swelling through my compression pants. But I loved running. And I loved running fast. I didn’t want to slow down. I didn’t want to stop. But I did stop…for now. Stopping has allowed me to focus on swimming and make improvements rather than steps backwards!
Tonight was one of the nights I was thankful and reflecting on the little things. The moments that make me love this sport and the people that have become my family. We are very fortunate in Orange County to have one of the best swim coaches in the country at our local Equinox and Nova Masters program. I convinced Ricardo, who is definitely one of my favorite people AND workout buddies, to go with me to Equinox. I THOUGHT the workout was going to be 1 hr of 50’s. NOPE! It was 40×75 or 40X100’s on the `1:30. It was fantastic and TOUGH! It made me feel like a real swimmer. It made my arms hurt…and that is difficult considering I’ve been carrying my weight on crutches the past 9 weeks. It made me exhausted and it made me happy. It really wasn’t that different from any other workout but it was the first time since surgery that I felt like I physically exhausted my body. The same euphoric state that you get from a super hard brick workout. Or from really long run. For some reason I was moody all day and it completely turn my day around. It made me thankful for this sport and for my triathlon family 🙂