Thursday, July 12, 2007

A triathlon is not in my near future

My big plan is to start working out in the mornings, since I can’t find the time or energy to do it at the end of the day. I also decided that in order to motivate myself to get up early, I would try a new and exciting exercise: swimming. I don’t know how to swim. I mean, I wouldn’t drown if I was thrown into a lake, but I probably would drown if I had to swim across it freestyle. So I bought myself a black silicone swim cap and pink goggles, packed my swimsuit into my gym bag and headed out the door at 6am. I felt minor trepidation approaching the pool, but no one was there except for a lifeguard and two other people standing around talking. I got into the slow lane and did not start off well. I know you’re supposed to put your head in the water when you’re swimming, but I just couldn’t do it. When my new goggles broke after 3 laps, I figured that was my reprieve. Um, no. The lifeguard came over and among his choice lines was “You don’t look good.” First of all, no one wants to hear that. Ever. Especially at 6:30 in the morning when they’ve shoved their hair into a hideous bathing cap and are flailing around desperately in the shallow end of a pool. But then he fixed my goggles, told me how to breathe under water: blow bubbles out of your nose and breathe in through your mouth. This is probably ridiculously obvious for those of you who know how to swim, but it made me feel very skeptical of the swim lessons I took every year as a kid. I don’t know how to breathe while swimming and I never learned to dive. I am, however, a master of the kickboard. So there.
I practiced what the lifeguard had taught me for another 15 minutes before feeling like I might be sick to my stomach, which seemed like a good stopping point. On my way out, he mentioned that the next thing I needed to learn to do was kick (I swear to god, I thought I was kicking) and that I might want to take a lesson. “See how the good swimmers are doing it?” he gestured to three people in the fast lane. Still, I am not mad at this guy. He gives swim lessons and I might take one. It should be a great exercise in humility, if nothing else.

4 comments:

Amanda said...

Do I have to be the person to point out that you should be giving yourself more credit for even GETTING to the gym at 6am? And then willing to get in cold water, no less? As you know, I don't use the word hero lightly, but...

Book Cannibal said...

Yeah, Sarah, a morning workout *is* absolutely heroic! I should tell you at this point that I put myself through college (read: barely covered the cost of kegs) by teaching swimming lessons. That lifeguard has nothing on me. I could totally teach you how to kick.

Sarah said...

YES! I accept. I would love for you to teach me. This is fabulous, thank you!

Elizabeth said...

i just peed in my pants.