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Learning through sport--swim update

Last night marked the 3rd straight night in the pool for me. Unintentionally. Schedules were shifted and even though I feel like I definitely need TONS of practice, I have no intention of making swimming an obsession. It just worked out that way this week and I'm now ready for some time away from thinking about my stroke.

In fact, if anything, last night I learned that I need to quit beating myself up about it. My instructor's advice is less about picking apart my stroke--it's not all that bad. My problem is mostly putting it all together, but she said she has no doubt that I'll be ready in March to start my training program and she's confident I have the athletic capacity to finish an open water swim.

In short, I'm a perfectionist. Which, apparently, others fully understand though maybe not me. I don't think of myself that way. Maybe I don't challenge myself enough with things that are difficult? Maybe I'm naturally talented at too many things? It's so weird to be doing something that I feel so unnatural at. I'm completely frustrated while Lora is saying it looks all the things I don't feel--relaxed, good position, etc..

Not that there aren't things to fix. My fingers needed to be more together. My kick dies off sometimes. My head comes up instead of to the side--perhaps useful for sighting, but not the point. My elbow isn't high enough. But not the ugly chicken in the water I feel like. I look like a swimmer. A new swimmer, perhaps, but not flailing in the water about to drown.

So I need to slow things down and not rush. Not analyze too much. I'm slowly learning that I need to forget my mistakes, quit trying to fix them, and keep going! I stopped to have a conversation with her at one point about how I should be breathing...she has me breathing every right arm but I said I feel like maybe I should breathe less often since I'm turning sometimes without being out of breath. Her answer: "so don't turn your head to breathe."

Very Zen.

I can definitely feel the difference between when it looks correct and when it doesn't. Because it also feels incorrect. I can't always tell what I did wrong, but something wasn't right. In the rest of the world, my learning style is so different. I like to read all about something, see it visually, work on it quietly by myself through repetition, then consult someone with my questions...usually confirming what I've already found through trial and error. This is so not that.

But that was the point. And, as a side effect, I'm learning how to swim freestyle. I'm fairly proud of myself for attempting something new and sooo uncomfortable. I'm actually less nervous about race day and more nervous about being nervous leading up to race day. Less about proving to myself that I can do it...more just for the anxiety of how it will all go. I'm so excited for all of it. The swim waves, transition, biking with other people who have been working towards the same goal, coming off the bike and finding my running legs.

So far I'm enjoying the adventure though. Haven't chickened out yet!