Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Swim Lesson #1: I Survived
The week did not start out well. Why you may ask? Pink eye! that's right. I got pink eye! What a terrible way to start the week! I went to the doctor's and got some medicated eye drops. He said he's seen quite a few cases of pink eye lately. Bleh. I'm not allowed to wear my contacts for a week... well I refuse to wear glasses to the wedding, but otherwise I am sporting the glasses this week.
Yesterday I only had time to run a mile before pilates due to a meeting at work running late. To make up for yesterday, the roommate and I decided to run 2 miles before heading to swimming. Then we headed to swimming...
The instructor is great. She really knows her stuff, and is a certified swim instructor. She is also a triathlete coach. She is teaching us total immersion swimming (click the link for a great three-part article I found online). She told us that she was going to make us unlearn the free-style techniques we already knew then build us up learning the total immersion method (no problem... I don't have a style). According to the hand-out we received, "Total Immersion concentrations primarily on making you balanced and aligned so that you can slip effortlessly through the water. It imprints correct technique on the nervous system through a series of drills that are a lot of fun to do but that break the swim stroke down into manageable parts. Each drill builds on the one that preceded it."
The first thing we had to do was swim the length of the lap pool (25 yards) and back free-style. I seriously have not actually tried to swim since... well since I was a kid. I looked TERRIBLE. I felt TERRIBLE. I came very close to tears before making it back, gasping for air. The entire time I was thinking, "What the h*** was I thinking?! I can NOT swim! The instructor is going to ask me to leave!" I eventually made it back and waited while someone else went. I felt sick.
I was expecting the instructor to ask me to leave, but instead she continued with the lesson. The first drill we learned was called "Back Balance". I had tried this previously with Rebecca, so I felt a little less nervous... and it helped that everyone was doing this and not just me, like when we did the free-style swim. After that we "found our sweet spot" with drill two. This led to another drill and then another. Basically we learned how to swim on our backs and side with our bodies relaxed in the water, using our hips for kicking, not using our hands, and practicing breathing.
The instructor gave us tips, and by the end of the class I felt a LOT better. I felt more comfortable in the water, and although I need lots of practice, I felt fairly comfortable with the drills.
Since I don't usually swim, wearing goggles was new for me. I really liked being able to see under the water. I think that it will help me get over the fear of drowning. (I must mention that not being able to wear glasses or contacts left me pretty much BLIND today. I tried to watch the people demonstrating the moves, but yeah... they were pretty much just a blur.)
Our instructors are to practice for an hour three times a week. We can only practice our drills. Absolutely NO freestyle.
I am DETERMINED to be a triathlete... I CAN do this!