I signed up for a group swim next week with Atlanta Triathlon Club. I am super excited about really getting underway with training, especially swimming (and since I do not swim like a fish ~ swimming is where I plan to spend the most time .. at least initially). Once I signed up for Monday's class, I thought about the fact that it's been over a year since I have been in the pool... An entire year!! Time FLIES! The good news is that I did my best swim at that time. The bad news is I haven't done a 'best' or 'better' swim since then (eek!).
My friend, Marci, introduced me to Bob Drello (who teaches at Cobb Co Aquatic center(s)) back in 2012. Back then, I use to tell folk that I could swim. I'd go on to say "...but not technically."
Get my drift? No? Ok~ let me explain. You know those 'wannabes' who can doggie paddle, dead man's float, back stroke with hands at the side and do a very unique looking version of freestyle? That was me! I swam either underwater completely -or- with my head above water like a pesky watersnake. Luckily, I'd learned all this when I was very young, so at least I wasn't afraid of the water (that was my justification for never learning proper technique).
Well, Bob rescued me. I learned how to breathe; I learned technique. He taught me in one lesson what someone else hadn't done in four! I have since introduced him to several of my running buddies, who all attest to his greatness (We 'heart' Bob)! So, thanks to Bob, I now call myself a swimmer without the side note and disclaimer (*wink*). That said, I am still a BeGiNnEr. I take my time. I concentrate on my stroke and how best to improve it. I strive to build endurance and go a little further than last swim. I started and quit lessons with Bob twice (in '12 and '13) because I'd lost interest after my father's passing and my own illness. I remember the day I told him in the pool that I had a doctor's appointment for a second mammogram and ultrasound. I continued my lessons until I was given my diagnosis. Thinking back, it would have probably done me alot of good to continue with lessons. But, I stopped. Fast forward to today ... I let Bob know I won a contest and would be giving the triathlon another go! I told him I wasn't sure if I even remembered what he taught me. Being the great coach that he is, he agreed to meet me at the pool to provide guidance and instruction today.
At the 15 min mark, I gave up the kicking board (but not the training fins) & stroked my way to remembrance! YAY! Small victories! Swimming is very therapeutic. Under water is calm and quiet. I have my own cheering squad in my head. With every stroke, I feel better and stronger. I am able to reflect in the water on things that might make me cry outside of the water. You can't cry in the water with goggles and all (smile). My reflections aren't meant for sadness. Instead, it's what fuels me.
Before I knew it, I told Bob that I wanted to swim down to the 10ft end (25yds) and back. I did that a couple of times. He gave me a few tips and instructions but knew that today was not about 'fixing' things. It was about my (re)introduction back into the water. He allowed me that time because as a coach I'm sure he understands how important it is to get back in there & just do it. I so appreciate him for today. THANK YOU, BOB !!!
It is so symbolic of much in life. No matter how many times you've walked away ~ never be afraid to jump back into it (whatever "IT" means to you). Neither Bob nor I knew what to expect today. In the end, we were both pleasantly surprised with what I'd retained. It's only the beginning..this I know. My body feels different in the water. I feel fatigue and pulling in places that weren't a problem in the past. But, it's ok. Patience is the word I've heard so many of my friends repeat to me. So, patience it is.... AND .... for now, I'm satisfied with 2x25 and the little aqua cheerleader (in my head) that constantly reminds me that "I CAN DO IT".
Crossing a finishline, CC (***HUGS***)