My entire focus lately has been swimming-swimming-swimming... I am starting to love it too.
Wednesday at 101 (the learn to swim class I am taking), Coach Steve finally got my stroke to make sense. I could really feel myself pull water, I was sore in new muscles that I never used in my arms, and I felt like a "real" swimmer. BUT I was going really slow. I wasn't even on send offs.
It was more like 4 laps here and then 2 laps here, then do 8 laps. In our 101 some people are so new to swimming we aren't even to the vocabulary of swimming yet, like a 100 or 50 or a 200, so we do laps. Take your time, no clock, no send off, just swim correctly.
This is a good place for me. Nobody to race, nobody to keep up with, I am actually the fastest without trying, my competitive side goes out the window and I humbly learn and take in the new stroke as a 25 or "lap" takes me 30 seconds rather then 14 or 16.
Now, back to Wednesday evening. Masters-cut throat, race your neighbor, hang onto Mike's feet, go-go-go! Mike is first, I am second, we are doing a couple 200's building them. 2:30 easy on the first one, 2:18 on the second, and about to start the number 3 and I hear this loud voice from a soft spoken Coach Steve, "What are you doing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I tell him I am building. He says, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" Meaning tell him the truth, so I tell him I was trying to keep up with Mike. He then moves me to the back of the lane (truth be told I am starting to tear up and my goggles are filling with tears). He then says, "What about that awesome stroke we developed this morning at 101? What happened to that? Is that what you plan to do at a race? Throw everything out the window? That old stroke does not work for you, it hasn't made you faster, your new stroke will help you but you have to commit".
So, I am now at the back of the lane. I am NOT supposed to keep up, worry about the send offs, build, sprint, pace, I am to do that new stroke and do it every time I am in the pool. Commit. Part of me is about to cry like a big baby for having to work so darn hard and get so frustrated, and the other part reminds me how lucky I am to have him care so much about me and my swimming.
Okay, now to this morning. 800 warm up. I was reminded to DO THE NEW STROKE! I still jump in lane one (our masters is crowded with 8 lanes full of people. lane 1 is the faster folks and lane 8 is the 101 swimmers, so you place yourself accordingly within the 8 lanes by your speed). I have to drag my finger tips ALL 800, Krista laps me, Mike turns over to do backstroke and tickle my toes letting me know I am going SLOW. But I do my "new stroke". Now, to our main set. 25 x100 on 1:20. YES! This is my ultimate favorite set, we rarely do this and Steve calls it my iron girl set. I just love it!
Lane one on 1:20 and lane 2 on 1:30 and he lets me know I can move over and maybe should move over so I can not get carried away and throw my new stroke out... Me=stubborn=NO! So, I stay and decide I will commit to that new stroke even though it takes so long!
I make the first 5 on 1:08 and it feels so easy. Steve is jumping and cheering. Then 5-10, still holding form and I feel pretty good. Number 12 I get to the wall and he lets me know I am starting to lose form and that I can just make send-off, no need to have all the rest, so I try for a 1:12-1:15 pace and I now can tell my old stoke is coming back. He stops me for a 50 and I sit on the wall hearing how this is what happens in a race. I get weak or tired and now I have to commit more that anything to hold this new stroke. I go. I am committing. It hurts. I am frustrated. I want to race with Mike and Krista and swim 1:05's with them but I am dragging butt with this new stroke. I start to get all frustrated and Steve stops me a 50 again... he tells me 2 words. "I'm Proud". Then I keep going, I keep telling myself that over and over.
In my mind I am so competitive and I know that to get faster I will first be slower. I don't like swimming in the back. I dislike swimming in lane 2-8, I love the people in those lanes, BUT I admire the fish in lane 1 and I want to swim like them...
So, Friday, another workout with the new stroke. It is slowly but surely coming along. And if you want to know the end of the 25 x100... I never did get to sprint the last 100 with my new stroke, I had to get out and get Kainoa so Jim could go to work. Don't worry though, I will finish tonight, by myself...
And, here is a little quote I feel fits "perfectly" with my swimming frustrations:"Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results'"
I know you have seen the quote on a dozen websites, blogs, locker room walls. Today, this was posted on my brain. Every season I cannot do the same old stroke and think I will get faster, SO I am committing to the new one.
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