A few days ago I read about a man, Klaus Obermeyer, who is 95 and still skiing and generally being awesome. He swims about a mile every day and says it helps him stretch out and stay young. And I thought “Yeah! Swimming! I could do that!” -Me, January 2, 2016
***Turns out the link above will get you to the Wall Street Journal article about Klaus Obermeyer, but you have to subscribe to read it all! Booo! Sorry.***
You guys! I did it! It took 10 1/2 months…but I swam a mile today! 1800 yards, almost all freestyle. That’s 1.02 miles!
When I first started swimming last January, I would just get in and go for as long as I could. No breaks, just full speed. I would make it about 7 minutes.
When I was training for those sprint triathlons, I had this plan to do 1000 yards, in 400 yd sets. Or 1600 yards. And I never did that. Never. I would swim 400 yards and I was done. I would go home and do nothing for two days afterwards.
When I went to my first Masters Swim class, I was exhausted and shaking by 30 minutes and I never went back.
When it came time to swim in my first triathlon in July, I was ready, to a point. I could comfortably do 400 meters, even had done about 600 m in open water. Aaaand I did five breaths of freestyle and the entire rest of the quarter-mile in side-stroke.
When it came time for my second tri in September, I overheated within 20 seconds (probably shouldn’t have had my wet suit on) couldn’t get my breathing under control, and side-stroked that one too.
And now, four weeks in to twice-weekly swim classes, I finally did it. I have a stroke that resembles actual swimming more than dragging a canoe through the water. I do an actual warm-up and cool-down in the water. I swim further each day.
And TODAY I SWAM A MILE!
Two weeks ago, I swam 1550 yards. I also ran 7 miles the next day, both of which were the furthest distances I’d ever covered. And then I watched two seasons of Shameless and ate everything, and slept a lot. I made two false starts getting back in the pool. I missed two weeks of running and dropped out of a half-marathon I won’t be ready for. There’s a small part of me that worries that this is MS, this fatigue I can’t shake. Fortunately, I have surrounded myself with logical, calm people. I tell them my worries, and they say, “Uh, didn’t you just do more than you’ve ever done in two different sports, and then travel to a hot place, get dehydrated, get your period, and, uh, get woken up ten times in the night every night for years? Maybe there’s a reason you’re tired?”
I haven’t mastered the slow build-up in training. I’m either a golden god or a sofa stain.
Today, though, Golden God!