Mermaid in Training

After buying my new swimming gear a few weeks ago, I finally made the leap (dive?) and hit the pool at our local YMCA last night after work for some cross training.

So I slipped into my swimsuit and immediately had a small panic attack when I looked down at the rest of my swimming accoutrements and realized I had NO CLUE how to properly use them. I bought the swim cap, wax ear plugs, and goggles because they looked cool, but once I found myself shivering in the freezing cold locker room staring at these foreign objects on the bench before me, I panicked. Did my hair need to be wet to put the cap on? Then what was the cap for if my hair was going to get wet? Does it go over my ears? If it does, do I need the ear plugs too? Should I walk out with the goggles on or put them on in the pool?

photo 3Like I’ve said before, sometimes it really is hell inside my mind.

So after a fruitless Google search and some mild cursing for being so totally pathetic, I just decided to wing it and slapped everything on to the best of my ability. After pulling a third of my hair out by the roots trying to get the swim cap on, nearly losing the wax in my ear twice, and pinching myself hardcore with the goggle strap, I was ready to rock.

photo 1

Or at least I looked like I was ready.

It became clear that I needed to have some confidence if I was going to pull this off, so I grabbed my towel, took a deep breath, opened the door to the pool and flip flopped out to the closest bench.

I slipped into the water and pretended that it wasn’t as cold as it was. Little kids were getting swimming lessons in the far lane, for god’s sake! So I pulled my goggles down, dipped under, and kicked off… and felt myself break into the biggest smile since I crossed the finish line of my last half in April! It was amazing!

For the next half hour I did lap after lap, trying out every swimming stroke my grandma ever taught me in our backyard pool, none of which I know the proper names for. Some I’m pretty sure I even made up as I went along. But I loved it! The rest of the pool cleared out and I found myself alone in my last few laps, in my own little sound-proof world (thanks, wax earplugs), my heart beating out of my chest as I finished one lap and geared up for another.

photo 2Finally, as I glanced behind me at the clock to see how long I’d been in, the poor teenaged lifeguard who had been standing there waving at me since I couldn’t hear her finally got my attention: “I’m sorry but we have to close the pool because of the lightning storm!”

I hadn’t even noticed, but it was indeed storming badly outside, so I hopped out of the pool, toweled off, changed into dry clothes and relaxed in the locker room for a minute: I felt ike I’d worked out hard but I wasn’t sweaty and gross like after a run; I was just fresh and dry and blissed out on an endorphin high!

So overall, I’d give swimming an A++. I cannot wait to go back! How about you? Do you swim for cross training? Any triathletes (or tri’s in training) out there? Let me hear it!

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