Thursday, February 19, 2009

Adventures in Swimming, Part 1

I'm feeling pretty good right now. My grief comes and goes. I'm trying not to let external situations determine whether or not I am at peace but

So, I'll go easy on myself and be happy with my current state of mind until I'm blindsided by sadness again.

Thank you all for listening.


For those two or three of you that have been reading here for over a year, you will recall that I decided to take up cycling around this same time in 2008.

When I go back and read that first cycling post now, it seems like a completely different person. Funny how a 160 mile/two day biking tour can transform you from amateur to near pro! (not that I'm nearly even that!)

The 160 mile ride was my goal last year. My goal this year? A triathlon.

I definitely have the cycling bit down. The running? Check!

The swimming?!?


Now I've been swimming since I was a youngster. I grew up on boats, camping and swimming in the lake. I am a certified scuba diver. I've been diving on the Great Barrier Reef!

But swimming laps in an Olympic sized pool scares the crap outta me!

I'm not sure I was ever trained on how to swim laps. I also definitely don't get much practice swimming with two little girls either. The past 7 years or so, I've been perfectly content sitting under a shade canopy or on the steps of the pool with a margarita - while my little ones are swimming and/or bobbing around me.

And now... my first try at a tri is 2 1/2 weeks away.

I only have to swim 10 minutes. No biggie, right?

It is not until June that I have to do an entire 1/2 mile swim.

Then I continue with a 12 mile bike ride and a 3 mile run before I'm done.

I not only have to get used to this swimming thing but also doing 3 different fitness activities in a row.

No time like the present to start preparing for that!


Tonight I decided to try swimming for the first time.

"I can do this." I told myself. "After all, Soldier, who freakin' does the Ironman, never even learned how to swim til he was 30 years old. I can do this."

It was rough. I was coughing and sputtering and looking like I was drowning.

I stopped to rest briefly, maybe a minute here and there, but otherwise swam for 25 minutes straight.

My arms are so sore!

But I am very proud of myself. Maybe the more I do it, the less panicked I will be. Maybe the less panicked I am, the more efficient swimmer I will be.

I sure hope so.

Still, I think it's time to take swim lessons.


  1. You can do it T!

    I have always wanted to run in a marathon (a short one lol) but I am not a runner. I have told myself I can't run so I can't. Maybe it is time I get out there and try.

    And a quote just because you know I love them ...

    The water is your friend. You don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move. ~Aleksandr Popov

  2. Oh, Ton! I believe you've got my own swimming style nailed - that is, if flailing, spluttering and convulsing in the water can be considered a style. We should go swimming together sometime and scare the shit out of some lifeguards, ha.

  3. Funny post. Funny words, I mean. I've never done a tri before, so id love to know how it feels to get off the bike and then run. seems like your legs would feel weird. I'm rooting for you (and your ego - sweet post the other day!)

  4. Oh, Tonya, you're such an inspiration! I'm in awe.

    I sure wish I could be your swim coach... it's the only sport I've ever done. Until kick boxing at age 36.

  5. T
    its my belief that you have never done anything half assed in your life. You will kill this. This will be an easy one!
    Hell you might even win!

    Big girl panties. You can do it, you will do it. You will be great!

  6. Oh yeah

    I'd never run unless I was chased, then I'd run, like 12 steps then I'd turn and fight.


  7. YOu swam for 25 minutes? You'll do just fine in June, T. We'll need to get you into the lake once it warms up enough, to get you experienced in that.

    I have utter faith that you will do great in both tris.

    And yes, you can backstroke in the tris.Last year, I panicked the first couple hundred yards, flipping back and forth like you did yesterday, then it clicked and all was well in the world . You only need to finish. The other two segments will make up for any time lost.

    Yay for you! :)

  8. T, I love to swim and think it is one of the best -- and hardest -- all around workouts. The fact you stuck with it is immense. I'm so impressed you are going for a triathalon!

  9. Q: can you do breaststroke, too? I find that alternating breaststroke and freestyle works well, since the arm movement is different than freestyle or backstroke.

  10. Well I can swim and I can bike, but I don't run and I'd collapse early on attempting a tri.

    Taking that challenge on is already stating you can take on anything. I'm sure the swimming part will go just fine.

  11. You go, girl! (And to think I can barely make myself walk around the block!)

  12. You make me smile!

    I love that you are taking on the swimming and that you are pushing yourself to be prepared for your next adventure! I am impressed!

  13. I know you'll do it and you'll rock it. Wow, girl! You are such an inspiration. :) I'll stick with my wimpy water aerobics over here. Triathalon? Ouch!!!

  14. Love this post!

    What an opportunity, not only to get into even better shape than you already are, but to work with fear in a whole new way. I have found that every time I feel the fear and do it anyway, I am rewarded with some pretty cool experiences of grace. I know you will be too. Swim lessons don't hurt either - you're just improving your craft.

    In awe of your courage and spirit, T.

  15. Way to go T.

    My flirtation with biking lasted one 70 miles charity ride. And I've been on it about 3 times since. I really need to take a leaf from your bush and get cracking with my fitness again.

  16. Awesome post. Came over here after you left a comment on my post on Hot Dads. I have done two marathons, but would never consider a triathlon. I, too, would struggle in the water. I love your blog!

  17. I'm very impressed. I did a couple 5k's last year and though I was hot shit....NO WAY could I do a triathalon!

  18. I agree with Southern Sage, if you can't outrun them in 25 yards, turn and fight...or get your butt kicked, either way it's better than running :-)

    I admire you greatly for tackling this! I truly like the last line of your post, "I'm never too old to learn something new."

    Keep up the great work!

  19. good for you!!! I cant swim laps if my life depended on it. I can do the breast stroke and doggie paddle and tread water, but that't it!

  20. I haven't read it but I believe this technique is very good:


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