Thursday, April 12, 2007

Getting my swim on

This is where I swam in Florida for 2 days on my recent business trip. I swam 30 minutes strong each day and I felt it each day following. I felt great. I could feel all of the stress I collect in my shoulders being worked out, stretched out. It reawakened that passion for swimming I have and I made it my mission to find a pool nearby when I got home.

Well by and by I found one, and to my delight it is only 5 minutes away from my office. The pool membership I chose came with a Masters swim membership. I never thought I could join a Masters swim program, as I've never been on a swim team and I'm not fast. As it turns out, all levels can join. The slower folks just swim accordingly, in the farthest lane. As time goes by, you will swim in that next lane over, and the next one...

5 years ago, at a particular VC firm where I worked, I used my lunch break to swim or ride my bike. After that job, lunches (and other times for exercise) went downhill. At my next job, I was very inspired by the controller. He is a Master swimmer and swam 4 days a week during lunch, without fail. He almost went to the Olympics for swimming, which is probably why I thought I couldn't be in a program like that. He always came back refreshed and would make sandwiches with a lot of pepper on them. Hi Ken.

Today was the best lunch break I've had in 5 years. I got in a lane, saw that the other swimmers were warming up and I followed. At the other end of the wall the coach noticed I was new and we introduced ourselves. In a very coach-y voice he said, "Have you been in a masters swim program before? No? How about a swim team? No? Have you swam much? Where are your goggles?"

I told him that I just really like swimming and would get some goggles soon! He put me to the test. He said, "I want you to do 100". I said I didn't know what that meant. OK that means 4 laps. And was I relieved when he told me that one lap is just from one end to the other. (I think 1 lap can be there and back if it's a shorter pool - 25 yds vs 50 yds maybe)?

He said I did very well and that I could stay in the lane I was in, which was 2nd from the slowest lane. Great! So for an hour, I swam with another woman and I did a 200 (8 laps), a 250 (10 laps) and some drills. One of these drills I had to see how many breaths I took during one lap. He does an exercise with the folks called 3,2,1,0. The first lap you can take 3 breaths...last lap none. I took 4 breaths, then got it down to 2. I did that by remaining very calm.

During the very last 5 minutes, he had me do another 100 and timed me. By that time I was TIRED and my time was 2 minutes, 40 seconds. In other words, extremely slow. He said that was about the same time "they" swim, pointing to the swimmers in the slow lane. I am to get in that slow lane tomorrow. But he assured me, in no time would I be able to improve. I'm stoked.


Jess said...

So much to say on this post. First and foremost, that is one of the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen of you! Glow baby glow!

Second, you were in a shorter pool if 4 laps made a 100. A lap is a lap is a lap, one way ticket. Your lap could be 50 yards, yes, in which case a 100 would only be two laps. ;)

Love the convo w/the coach!

Did you know I was a varsity swimmer in high school?

Jess said...

A pool that is 50 yards long is an Olympic pool. Otherwise, just a pool. Not sure if there is another name for that?

Clare said...

I loved reading this post. I am so happy that you found a coach person who sees your potential! You go!

missmobtown said...

I'm not trying to put the moves on or anything, but you look totally hot in the pool pic!

Jamie Welsh said...

Oh Miss Mobtown, how your comments always make me laugh. The thin mints comment had me cracking up.

Jess, I want to learn more about your Varsity swim days!!

Clare, thank you. I needed a coach. Coaches are good in life.

jnichols959 said...

that sounds rad! exercise can be so much fun - particularly if you don't think of it as exercise and just have fun! ;-)

go jamie!

Jess said...

Hey Jeff -- maybe you could go swimming with Jamie at lunch sometimes! Wow! Talk about motivation, exercise is often easier with a buddy. And you guys are 5 minutes apart, so if it's close enough for her, it's gotta be close enough for you.