In Finding Nemo, the cute and obnoxious little Dori chants “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming” over and over again. It seems as though she has no care in the world, and well she is a fish, so swimming comes a lot easier to her than it does to me.
But last week the pool opened, and that is the place that my children usually spend the entire summer. We eat lunch and then we head to the pool, and then we come home, and if we are not too tired we go back after dinner.
We love the pool. But this year is different for me. You see last year, I played with my kids, and I just hung out in the shallow end. I would occasionally go off of the diving board, but that was about it. It wasn’t that I disliked myself, or was afraid of people seeing me or anything like that, it was just hard to be truly active in the pool because of my weight.
I didn’t realize that though until now. I thought I was a “good” swimmer, decent at least. But then the first day came around. On Friday I made a decision that I would really work on lap swimming because I want to do a triathlon (with every fiber of my being I want to do one this summer).
So I talked with the life guards and found out that a 1/4 mile swim is considered 400 meters. That’s 16 lengths of our pool. So that began my goal.
On Friday I swam the first 400 meters and then decided to do another 400. First off, I was totally stoked that I could even do that. Believe when I tell you it took a long time. I took a ton of breaks, so it was about 50 minutes or so. And then I talked to one of the guards I know, who is a swimmer (and in high school). I asked him how long it took him to swim an 800. “10 minutes, give or take a minute or two”.
WHAT??? 10 minutes. That is crazy! I will never be able to do that! So I went home feeling really defeated. And then thought to myself, this is what goals are for. And I need to set some.
So I did, my biggest goal is still to partake in a triathlon, and finish it (not last preferably). But my swimming goal is to be able to swim a mile (that’s 64 lengths of the pool) in a half an hour.
So, I told my friend this, you know the teenage swimmer boy. He just looked at me and said, “wow, yeah, um that’s ambitious. Real ambitious. But its a good goal, something to work for.” And then he patted me on my shoulder and walked away.
He doesn’t think I can do it, but I know I can. So, Saturday, I went to the pool, I had work to do.
Now let me mention something here first, the first to days of swimming, the weather was in the mid 60’s. But I didn’t care (well, I did, but I had to get er’ done).
So, I got to the pool and decided that I was just going to swim my heart out for 30 minutes, and I would go from there. I swam and swam. When I hit 600 meters all I could think about was not throwing up in the pool, because believe me, I felt sick. I had been sucking in water (accidentally) and it was going up my nose, and it was constantly in my ears! And on top of that, I had no goggles, so it was hard for me to stay straight.
But I kept on. When I finally hit 30 minutes I had swam 1050 meters. I only had 550 meters left to get to a mile, so I wasn’t about to stop. But it was not easy. My lungs were burning, as were my legs and arms. But I started saying this to myself like “you got this” and “mind over matter” and “don’t give up! Do not give up”.
So I didn’t give up. I just kept swimming, and swimming. And finally I finished. I came in at just over 45 minutes. It was excruciating. But I know now, that I can do anything!
So, I will stick with my highly ambitious goal of a mile swim in 30 minutes. And when I do it, I will tell you all about it.
So, just keep swimming! 🙂