My First Master’s Swim

Saturday, I woke up at 4:30 a.m. That always happens when I’m super excited about something – a flight, a long run, a race, 734’s Dad’s races. This time it was my first workout with a new Master’s Swim Club. I’ve waited all year to be well enough to take on this challenge.

And the day finally arrived. Okay, so I beat my alarm clock by an hour. This club meets on a military base. I arrived to see a bunch of recruits ready for their early workouts too.

Sometimes I laugh at the triathlon lifestyle. Our workouts seem like an endless string of double-dog-dare-ya’s. Saturday was certainly one of ‘em. I ventured out in one of our biggest storms of the year to do my own personal tri – swimming, Pilates class, and weights.

My new coach, Mary, let us store our towels in her office. Otherwise, there would’ve been no way to dry off. I neglected to tell her that my longest swim of the year so far had been 1700 yards. I just took her orders like an eager recruit.

The weather made for a surreal swim, a treat for the senses. As a glanced down into the water, the pool was a bright sky blue. The water was warm. The water quality was perfect. As I took a breath, I caught dark gray, heavy clouds. Within the first couple of hundred yards, the storm went from a trickle to a drizzle to a downpour. I loved the contrast of rhythms as the swimmers stroked and the raindrops danced on the water. I could hear the jetfighters take off in the background.

I was totally shocked that I could do this:

500-yard warm up
300-yard kicking drill
100-yard butterfly kick (‘cause I don’t know how to do the butterfly)
100-yard kicking on my back (‘cause I don’t know how to do the backstroke either)
3 sets of 2 x 150 freestyle and 1 x 150 pull w/buoy
100-yard sculling on my back

2,450 yards total

After my initial warm-up, Mary gave me a couple of suggestions on my pull and arm entry, but didn’t overwhelm me. I’m sure there will be more to come. I think I expected to be peppered with all kinds of tweaks. I expected to be humbled. I expected to need therapy after it was over. Instead it felt like therapy.

I showed up for Pilates with a minute to spare, wet hair and goggle eyes. My instructor, Toni, who has worked with me since my rehab last winter just grinned and said in her usual bubbly way, “Crazy girl! That’s awesome.”