Thursday, November 25, 2010

Stroke, Float, Sink...Repeat

The cold weather is slowly setting in throughout the Southwest over here in the good-old UK.  Barefoot running is more like numb foot running and my hips are acting up to much for me to even enjoy the sport at the moment so my runs have become minimal.  So I am trying to make the pool my friend at least once a week to take the pressure of my joints while I get the blood flowin and the heart pumpin.

Problem is...the water and I aren't friends or really even associates yet.  We have this weird relationship.  If I don't visit the pool on a regular and consistent basis then when I do get in I feel as if she is going to swallow me whole and then spit me out.  It's like she is back handing me and making me feel bad for cheating on her with the rowing machine or free weights.  I then feel I need to tell her it's not her...but me.  My confidence in the still body of water is still minuscule.  I can kick and stroke but not for very long or very far and if I can't put my feet on the floor then I don't go in...PERIOD.

However, that has to change because I have gotten this crazy idea in my head that I want to learn how to row next year and I want to join the Bristol women's rowing club.  But to take the learn how to row class I need to be able to swim 100 meters in light clothes - makes sense if I am to be in a BOAT in the middle of a BODY of WATER.

Now some of you might be thinking "Why would you want to learn to row if you don't necessarily like the water?"  Answer: "Why the hell not?"  See I miss a team sometimes.  I miss the camaraderie between teammates and the fun of being active with a group of people.  Plus, it's a good way of making friends in a new place where I am still learning the local ways of...making friends.  Besides, it just looks cool.

I mean let's face it - I taught myself to run long distances even when doctors told me I might not be able to even walk properly again.  I jumped out of a plane twice in one day attached to another person.  I got myself on a bike at age 27 and learned to not fall of.  I made myself get in the water and learned to at least get my feet off the floor and kick not long after.  I even found myself on a side of a mountain in snow on a new years morning with no crampons and a bad fear of heights, and got back down without killing myself.  So I figure if I can get myself to make the water my friend then I can find myself one day in the middle of a lake in a row boat with 5 other women working up a sweat and getting some definition back into my shoulders and back.

Today I got back into the pool.  Second time in two weeks.  I said hi to the water, took a deep breathe, and pushed off the wall all by myself.  I had Mike stand next to me instead of in front and I made it down and back again - stopping only 7 (ok maybe 8) times.  6 lengths total which is a nice start for me.  It's a shallow pool. I still have problems learning how to breathe, and my body gets tired quick with the new movements but dammit I will be able to swim 100 meters in light clothes so I can at least see if I can learn how to row a bit farther.  I'll keep you updated.

Oh and HAPPY AMERICAN THANKSGIVING to all...and to all a good day.

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