Wednesday 17th April – Mind Made Up Then!?
Yet again it was a case of having to push myself to get motivated to go swimming today. There are lots of other things to do and chores to be mustered in our new village home, especially on the land that also tries pulls me away from the session. Early mornings are the best time to work on the land before it gets too hot midday onwards.
Still, it was treading the cobblestones towards the swimming complex knowing that I’d thank myself for making the effort. I know that once this challenge is completed, I can’t see me swimming anymore unless I am incapable of cycling or running. Once again the reason is simple, I don’t really enjoy it. However, I do enjoy the challenge of facing fear and phobic symptoms.
09:44 and in the swimming block only to be told that I have to wait until 10:00 before I can enter. I think the receptionist has been told not to let us in early by the pool attendant who prepares the pool checking everything is working and the water is safe. By the time 10:00 came there were three other swimmers waiting with me. 4 lanes, 4 swimmers, we all have a lane each thankfully.
I was last to get ready, purposely not rushing to keep calm and considered preparing well. The showers were no piping hot being the fourth in, what the hell, enjoy the luxury for once I thought.
Stretching exercise by the poolside and into the alien world of water. It was my intention to just focus on breaststroke as this point I was resigned to doing the 2-mile event in breaststroke fashion. I could go on for ages without even getting out of breath. There is not much street cred about it but it is all about completing the distance no matter how long it takes.
Off I go up and down up and down not counting lengths after the first 10 and just plowing on. Easy, easy, easy with the negative thought that I wasn’t getting any aerobic benefit doing this. At no point were there any stopping or panic situations and just one accidental water up the nose without issue.
I stopped eventually, not from tiredness, just out of curiosity of how long I had been swimming. Being short-sighted I can’t see the wall clock without getting a near as I can without my goggles on. When I did check it was 35 minutes that had elapsed. A feel-good factor hit in.
Just for a little fun, I decided to try the freestyle again with great apprehension that it would deflate me mentally. Something quite strange happened as I tried to relax and get into a rhythm I could maintain. I focused on the stroke style of each arm waiting to the other to arrive stretched out in front of me before going into another stroke. Also turning my body left and right with each stroke so there is less effort on the arms. Well, the strange things was I did four lengths non-stop and was only slightly out of breath; I could have managed another length but stopped from the shock of the success and to reflect why this happened.
Well, I couldn’t figure it out but did another two lengths with the same style successfully. Something might have clicked here to cause this. Was it because of the big long 35 minutes warm up with breaststroke beforehand? Was it because I had muesli and a banana for breakfast instead of cheese on toast? Or was it just because #I didn’t put pressure on myself with great expectations before attempting it?
It still remains that my intention is breaststroke and IK worked out that I would have to complete 188 lengths in this pool to cover the 3200 metres required. With 1 minute per length that works out at just over 3 hours duration. I feel at this stage that is it manageable with breaststroke but not with freestyle.
I will see what happens on Friday’s session probably doing the same as I did today but a bit more prolonged. Also, there will be some investigation into breaststroke technique online to see if it can be made more efficient.
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