Saturday, February 2, 2013

Keep on swimming, swimming, swimming...

So in 3 weeks times I take part in 1/3 of a triathlon called Xterra.  Once upon a time I had a dream to complete a mini one before I hit 45 but I am beginning to think that dream is unrealistic.   In fact before my swim today I thought of teaching myself to cycle and run this year and do the xterra lite next year.

When I decided on this triathlon I was still living/swimming in la la land with clear water and no waves and a thick black line to keep me on course.  I also had a wall every 25 meters to push against and knew at any exhausted point, I could simply stop and put my feet down.   For some extremely stupid and short sighted reason or lack of reason, I didn’t really think about open water swimming and how different it could be.   Being Nike girl who has the Just do it attitude I recruited my cyclist, my runner and went on-line and entered team De Hoop.    Today was my 3rd dam swim and I went up with a proper adult swim team.  I could just see by muscular bodies and wetsuits and fancy goggs that these people didn’t  f*ck around.    The first buoy was 500 meters away and the next one 1000 meters away.  Very old people, small children and the sick and lame could swim the first buoy and then swim back making it a 1km swim in total.  The real swimmers would do the 2km and then most go for a run afterwards.   Well duh, clearly I would have to do the 2nd buoy or at least swim in-between those making it 1.5km which is the race distance.  So off I go and I swim and I swim and I swim and then I look up and that first red ball is so damn far away I just can’t believe it.  I can see buggerall and every now and again I get a wave hitting me in the face and take a not so delicious gulp of dam water.  Eventually I see no swimmers anymore apart from a dad with 2 primary school children.  After 20 trillion strokes I make it to the first buoy and there is no way in hell I was even going to attempt to swim to the next one.    I swum around it and started crawling my way back.  It’s like a mirage, you keep on looking up through those misted foggy goggles and the people on the beach just don’t get closer.    As I get to the end, the first finisher of the 2kms swims past me, grabs his trainers and jogs off into the mountains to do the running section.    

I felt so depro and useless and over whelmed.     Losing sucks, that just for fun BS, not for me.  I know it didn’t help that I had an argument with the teen critters just before my swim and my mind was mulling and brewing but I can’t blame that.  I just don’t have the experience, the strength, the knowledge or the training.    I told Gary and he asked why I don’t get a replacement.    Why?   Because the only thing worse than losing, is quitting!  I just can’t give up like that.   I promise I have informed my team mates that I will be right at the back and they OK with that.  But to just not swim?   No, I will do this and learn along the way and the next time it will be a little easier and I will be a little better.   With my spinal pathology I have a good chance of never handling the pressure running would place on my back so maybe swimming is all I have.  If so then I plan to work damn hard and improve so I at least have a few people coming after me, be them old people and little kids!

1 comment:

  1. I used to be a win at all costs (without cheating), go get 'em, fight, fight, fight. Then I developed two chronic health issues. The idea of winning - it becomes a different sort of battle, experience. Goals form, but in a different manner. I try to figure out how to still DO with a body that is progressively working less. Creativity becomes a major factor in still getting things done. How to still have fun and join in on activities that the body can no longer DO the way it used to. I'm telling you all this simply so you can see that in a way, I understand.

    Have you read Dawn Garisch's 'Eloquent Body?' It is a South African book, written by a doctor and poet available on Kalahari and Amazon (including ebook. Don't know if you've gone the kindle route.)

    Her book is incredibly moving, interesting and may appeal to so much that makes you YOU. Not a self-help book. She doesn't preach. But the mental w/ creative w/ health w/ limitations w/ wanting to still challenge the self... The book presents different ways to think of the self.

    It is so frustrating when the body and mind do not function in the way we would like them to. Well done on not quitting.