Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My swimming experience thus far

I have tackled a new thing.  Swimming.  In a pool of  water, with a bathing suit on, with a swimming cap and goggles: dorkville!  This may not seem unusual unless you knew that...

  1. I am not a good swimmer - AT ALL.
  2. I don't like to do things I know I am not good at.       
  3.  I am a tad (alot) bit afraid of the water.
  4. I do not look good in a bathing suit. 
  5.  I do not like not looking good.
  6.  I do not like immersing myself in water that is not hot.  like over 100 degrees. I seriously do not like it.
Seriously... on all counts.  #s 1-6.  Reasons that I do not swim. 

Since my heel breaking incident in the fall, my foot is still not very strong and any exercise that I do that has impact on my heel,  hurts.  Very bad.  I can walk on the treadmill for about 15 minutes, do the elliptical for about 20, the bike for longer but it's sort of boring.  So my foot doctor told me that a good thing to do for exercise would be to swim.  I scoffed knowing what you now know about about me.  I don't swim.  My kids will tell you that I don't get into the pool unless someone that I gave birth to is drowning.  Thankfully that hasn't ever happened. 

About 6 weeks ago, I couldn't take the pain in my heel anymore but knew that I wanted to do some cardiovascular exercise.  The excuses were piling up on my backside. ( I'm sure it was those darn excuses  and not the cookies and cakes and desserts that I had over indulged in over the past 3 months.)  So, I decided to, well, pardon the pun... dive in.  I started to swim.  This meant that I was going to need a real bathing suit; (Isn't it always about the outfit for me?  Sigh... )I just knew that the ones that I use in the summer for sitting by the pool were not going to hold up if I was going to be at all serious about this undertaking.  After the sticker shock and the visual humiliation of swim-suit shopping in January, I grabbed my swim cap and goggles, took a deep breath and went to a part of the gym that I had not yet frequented.  I was quite happy to find out that the pool is purified with salt water and not chlorine and that the water is kept at an almost balmy 90 degrees.  My first trip into the water was still a little shocking, but with the water being that warm, I almost didn't mind.  I used a kick board for about 10 minutes straight and then decided to try a regular stroke.  I honestly didn't think that I was going to make it down one length of the pool.  The last 10 yards had me really wondering as I gasped for breath, my tired legs dragging me towards the pool bottom. But I did make it.  And the next time I went in the water, I swam 2 laps of the pool, but not back to back.  the time after that I did that 4 different times.  The more I have gone, the more laps of real swimming I have done.  Yesterday, I even swam full lengths of the pool one right after another.  What I have learned from my swimming experience is this...
  1. Being in the water is somewhat therapeutic for my mind and body.
  2. I can encounter and overcome my fears as well as ignore my insecurities.
  3. I look forward to my swimming days because it is something new, and the challenge has really been something that I really needed.   
  4. Some limitations are only there because I put them there.  
I realize that none of this is rocket science, but is pretty funny because swimming is just not something that I ever thought that I would do.  I have had to really get over a lot a lot in order to do this.  I'm just suprised at what the mental rewards have been for me.  I haven't really accomplished anything for a long time, and even though I'm not doing something that is outrageously important,  I am making myself say yes to something I've always said no to... for stupid reasons.  This has been a rather huge place of growth for me.  So... Yay me, if I may say so!!!  Clap, clap, clap.

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