Slippery when Wet in 2011

Wrapping up 2011 and tying it in a bow to be shipped off somewhere far, far away is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of this year.  My goal was to end the year stronger than I started it, which I have, and there’s no need to illustrate that…BUT… I’m going to end the year with a fight with a mild pelvis/glute/hamstring dysfunction.  And that makes me feel a little less worthy of accomplishment.

Don’t get all smashy on the keyboard just yet.

I finished my 100th mile of swimming in 2011 on Wednesday night, where I had 33 minutes of thinking time.  In those 33 minutes, I reminisced about where this whole swimming thing started.

6718803One word that stuck out is “resistance”, which is appropriate since the act of efficient swimming is all about being less resistant.  If I remember correctly, Terry Laughlin’s words in the Total Immersion book advised swimmers on how to become more slippery.  Slippery sounds dangerous, we’re all familiar with the “caution, slippery when wet” cones that retailers put on floors so that we can’t sue them if we fall.

Back to resistance…I did not want to get into a pool.  I thought if I got into the pool I was giving into the injury and telling runner’s knee, “Okay, you won”.  In January, I gave in.  When I first got into the pool, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing.  I literally doggie-paddled for 30 minutes, just to get some exercise in.

I was annoyed with the act of swimming.  I couldn’t just get in, swim laps, and have thinking time like I could with running.  My mind was always occupied with breathing, strokes, kicks, BREATHING…Aside from the act of swimming, the preparation one must do to go swimming.  Shave my legs, get my suit on, DRIVE SOMEWHERE, go at an appropriate time so I can hopefully snatch a lane, OMG WHAT IF I HAVE TO WAIT FOR A LANE…Swimming is just not as convenient as running is.

Over the course of the year I did became less resistant.  I opened my mind, I made progress, I gained courage, I embraced the chlorine, I became a triathlete.  As I became less resistant I found swimming to be useful cross training and found comfort in it.  The whammy of it all is that swimming became my go-to relief when I was hurt–each and every damn time.

I swam 100 miles in 2011, and the chlorine didn’t pinch me until the 100th mile.  As I swam my 100th mile, I appreciated the fact that I was able to think, to swim second natured, and to reminisce.  What makes swimming 100 miles more special than running 700 miles (which I’m painfully close to) is that I just learned to swim this year–SELF TAUGHT.  This is one of the several things that I can say I’m proud of this year, because swimming has really taken me to all the places/races that I’ve been to this year.

Caution:  Slippery can be a good thing

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8 thoughts on “Slippery when Wet in 2011

  1. Hooray for you! I learned to swim just about two years ago, after failing at two rounds of adult lessons, I picked up Terry Laughlin’s book and tried to give myself the room the learn. I’m still not as comfortable in the water as I am on my feet, but it is very, very good to be slippery 🙂 Congrats and Happy New year!

  2. You have come a long ways this year swimming! Awesome job self-teaching! I have the same problem with swimming as far as the inconveniences. Can’t wait to hear what 2012 holds for you!

  3. I’m so glad you discovered swimming. It does suck having to wait for a lane or share a lane, bit aside from that, it’s fantastic cross training. I had no idea you just recently learned. Very impressive!

  4. Loved this post ! I’ve been contemplating swimming for Cross Training for a bit now. I’m all angst about the whole ” real swimming ” idea. I mean I can swim…a mean doggy paddle if I have to stay afloat. But REALLY swim with the whole head turning and breathing….it really does seem like a welcomed invitation to drowning for me.
    The whole process besides the technical aspects stress me out too… getting a swim suit that fits. What’s the proper etiquette to getting in and OUT of the damn pool ? Just pick a lane and get in ?? What’s the damn big clock at the end counting down to ?? I’m getting overwhelmed just typing this!!
    I WILL get in the pool in 2012….but I can’t promise it will be pretty !

    • Just like with running, you have to start small… Just get in the pool and do kickboard laps. Practice your head underwater/breathing while using the kickboard. Try a lap without it. Lots of patience and practice and it all makes sense.

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