Monday, June 17, 2013

You Might Surprise Yourself

I have learned so much about myself both as a person and as an athlete this year. I am a control freak and when I cannot control things I get very anxious and irrational. My big resolution for 2013 was to be more risky and take more chances though. I don't want to have regrets or miss out on things because I was too busy being OCD about every little thing. There have been countless things that I swore I liked or disliked only to find out that the opposite is actually true.

Friday I had a swim workout on the schedule. 3 x 500. Going into the workout I was not looking forward to those 500's. If it were up to me (it's not), I would do shorter repeats like 50's or 100's. I thought anything more than a 200 was terribly boring. After I finished my warm up, I got to work on those 500's. I had spent the entire warm up thinking of ways to mentally entertain myself so I wouldn't get insufferably bored.

Those 500's were something I needed to do, not only because I am in the middle of triathlon training and need to swim regularly, but because I felt like myself for the first time in years. Yes, years. A part of my heart will always belong to swimming and the pool will always be my home. When I quit swimming I felt like I didn't belong in the water anymore. I felt like a fake. 

During those 500's I felt so at peace yet so fired up at the same time. I felt strong and graceful. I realized during those 500's that although I will never be the swimmer I used to be I am still a swimmer and have every right to be in that pool. I may never be as fast as I once was but I am still a heck of a lot faster than most people will ever be. I know how my body works in the water in ways that most people will never figure out.

This pool will always give me butterflies in my stomach

I spent years resenting swimming and avoiding it like a math exam but after Friday's workout I can say that the pool and I are on better terms. During high school the 500 was one of my best events. I knew how to pace it and it was the perfect distance for me. I loved everything about the 500. While I was doing my 500's on Friday I had that indescribable feeling where you know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be and that everything is going to be okay.

During the last 500 was when I realized that this was the most I've enjoyed a workout in the pool. There was actually a moment where I said to myself "I can't believe how much I love doing these longer sets. I thought I hated workouts like this." I know it's cheesy to say that triathlon and running are metaphors for life and blah blah blah but I never would have expected to learn so much about myself from this sport. 


  1. I feel the same way! I did USS year round swimming growing up and got really burnt out by the end of high school, but then rediscovered swimming a few years ago as cross training for my running and love the feeling of a peaceful workout in the pool. I definitely believe once a swimmer, always a swimmer! Good luck with your triathlon training!

  2. Sounds awesome! Glad you and the pool are back on good terms! :-)