Friday, December 30, 2011

Not Imagining Things

It's funny.

When you run or cycle, it's hard to tell - just by watching - who is a good athlete.  I mean, you can watch a fancily clad cyclist zoom by on an expensive bike and he could have just broke it all out of the package and taken it for a spin.

Same goes for runners.  Even if you watch a person on the treadmill for an extended period of time, it's hard to say if they are a back of the packer or if they are going for a Boston qualifying time in the near future.  Runners come in all shapes and sizes, and a even two professional runners won't have the same form.

Swimmers are totally different.  I don't know a whole lot about anything - but it I know even LESS about swimming.  It's a very technical sport.  The way an athlete grabs and pulls the water, moves his body, and works with the water is like watching a beautiful dance.  The same dance up and down the lane.  Its fluid, efficient, beautiful.

I just started swimming in October of this year.  Yep, just 3 months go.  When I started out, I couldn't make it halfway down a 25yd lane without coughing and sputtering.  Thanks to perseverance and a whole lot of YouTube observation, I can now complete 100yds of freestyle without a break.

This morning I decided to swim at the downtown Y, where I was convinced that all the swimmers were semi-pro/elite/half freakin' dolphin.  I did my little 40 minute workout full of 100's and that was plenty for me.   There were three men in the lanes next to me flying up and down and doing their fancy flip turns (how the heck do they DO that??  I'm afraid to even try!)  I got out and the guard said to me "You trying to get back in to swimming?"  Wow, I totally LOOK like a noob.  "Yeah, tryin' at least." I said.

He was really helpful and told me that if I watched good swimmers form and got some swimming friends I could learn just as much or more than I could with a coach.  Nice guy.  Had me pegged. :)  Oh, and he pointed out that one of the guys swimming there used to swim for Nebraska AND has swam the English Channel.  And those were his friends.

So the people that swim at the Downtown location ARE half freakin' dolphin, it wasn't all in my imagination! But, even if I am as much a novice as they are pro, there was room for me.  No body pointed or laughed (that I could see!) and I even got a helpful hint or two.

Glad I bid farewell to my comfort zone today and did something scary.  I might even learn something!


  1. It's OK to hang out around people that might know a thing or two that you might not; it is a good way to learn something new. It also explains why you tend to have people gathered around you.

  2. Good for you for getting out of that comfort zone! I've been swimming for years and I can tell you--you will see it ALL at the pool! Never feel intimidated to go. Keep up the good work--just think where you will be a year from now.