Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Swim Class, Week One

My first beginner triathlon swim class at the Y can be described in one word, disastrous. Maybe it had something to do with not being fully awake at 4:45am, but apparently, I do not know how to swim. Despite thinking I did. When I arrived, most of the other students (I use the term loosely) were already in the pool doing drills. The instructor told me and another girl I walked in with to jump in the pool to let him watch us swim. I swam to the other end of the pool and back. Then he instructed me to do another lap on my back. On my back? I'm not comfortable with that. I've never seen anyone in a triathlon swimming on their back other than to turn around at a buoy. I attempted to do a lap on my back, no go. I was not relaxed enough. I also felt pressured by the people behind me waiting to start their lap. After struggling through half a lap, I stopped and turned around. It was very challenging for me. I caught the instructor give a look to the lifeguard like, "what the hell is she doing in this class?" Feeling disappointed, I ended up sitting in the corner of the pool watching folks for much of the hour, wanting to slip out of pool unnoticed and leave. Everyone was far more advanced than I was. I was thinking, "Why are these people in this beginner class?" The other women in the class seemed very snooty, not encouraging like I've felt from people in the running world. The instructor was calling out drills and I had no idea what he was talking about. He eventually threw me a small floating board and told me I need to feel comfortable on my back before I could do any other strokes. I would have never thought that I need to master swimming on my back first. I started doing the laps again with the board, which really helped me relax. I ended up doing that same stroke the entire hour. By the end of the class, as people started to clear out of the pool, the instructor gave me a little more attention (and was a bit nicer). He said I looked much better, and pointed out another student in the pool who was at the same level I was not to long ago. I will go back again next week and decide if the class is too advanced for me. I may actually need a basic swim class. I know if I stick with it, I will get it.

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