Trundling through Instagram late at night, I saw something that resonated with me. Someone has taken on a one mile swim challenge. They’re saying how it’s how ever many lengths of a 25m pool (sixty something lengths?!) and they just swam four and THAT was tough. But it’s a comment below that resonates with me.
Swimming is humbling.
Not ten minutes before that, an email dropped into my inbox telling me there are just 4 months to go until I’m running into Dorney Lake to take part in my first ever triathlon. Windsor Triathlon.
It’s Saturday night. I last hit the pool on Friday for my lesson and had a breakthrough. I breathed through my nose.
This is gonna sound like nothing to those of you who swim autonomously but for me it was huge. It meant my breathing wasn’t forced. It meant I was more relaxed and not panicking. It meant I was breathing under water and not having to tell myself to breathe.
It means that things may start to click.
I need to remember how far I’ve come and not get frustrated. Just a couple weeks ago, I couldn’t even lift my head up to breathe in just once (using a kickboard). Now I can do that comfortably 3 or 4 times in succession. Just 8 weeks ago, I’d never even attempted to swim freestyle.
I’m on a timeline though. I want to aim to be ready for the Triathlon 6 week course (Novice) with Strictly Swimming by 10th March. After that, the next course in 21st April finishing just two or three weeks before the main event. Swimming is the game changer for February. Swimming is my FOCUS.
I’ve stuck to my word though, and in Januarys memory, I’ve been living in INTEGRITY. For the last two weeks I’ve been in the pool outside of my swimming lesson; something I really needed to do if I wanted to see progress. But it comes down to CONFIDENCE (my word for 2015).
I went to the pool with Jen around Christmas and was practising some drills with my kickboard when the lifeguard came over and asked “can you swim?”. I told her I could and her response was “show me”. I was a little taken back, and refused. How are learners supposed to gain confidence when they are approached like that?! It was a new pool for me so I was a little tentative while I got to know how deep the deep end was and also just getting a feel for the water.
So here’s the deal. For the Windsor Triathlon, I need to swim 750m. That’s 37.5 lengths of the 20m pool I learn in at City Point Gym & Spa.
For Eton Super Sprint, I need to swim 400m. That’s 20 lengths of the 20m pool.
My next big breakthrough will be swimming one (non stop) length of breaststroke & freestyle BREATHING.
My next breakthrough is to have the CONFIDENCE to hit the pool by myself. Take my kickboard and do my drills. Get a feel for the water. Nail my breathing. Learn to relax.
Here’s to staying humble.
Matilda Iglesias says
I scoffed when I read the works swimming is humbling, yep, not going to deny it. then I thought about it. And it is. You've got this. Good luck.
Elle Linton says
Crazy, huh?! We take for granted all the things we can do without having to think about them! …I'm gonna give it my best shot, for sure! 😉 Thank You x
Cynthia @ You Signed Up For WHAT?! says
I love that your word is confidence – and you are right about swimming being humbling! I started back swimming 2 years ago and always thought I was "good swimmer". Then i realized I was just a completely average swimmer. I'm doing Masters Swimming workouts and I'm in the "slow lane" but we are plugging away! I love that I can actually see improvements now. You are doing fabulously and I'm so excited to see how things go!!!
Elle Linton says
Thanks Cynthia! …it's people like yourself who are my inspiration! Not taking it for granted and always looking to improve! Enjoy your journey too! x