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.
One 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