Friday, June 08, 2007

"Open Water" Swim

So today I decided to head up to the local pool for a swim.

I sort of knew that was a mistake, but I just really wanted to be outside. But--it's the FIRST FULL DAY the pool is open.

I used to work for the Rec Department in this town. I know what the "first full day" means.


Nasty, dirrrrty pool, and five gazillion little kids who don't understand the concept of a lap lane. I decided that I was just gonna swim, and they'll eventually figure it out. I dodged a few but sort of got hit by a few others as they were cutting through to the other MILES OF OPEN POOL that they have free range on. When I saw a few lounging at the sides, I refused to stop and just did my flip turns around them.

They'll get it eventually. The guards were too busy flirting with each other to be bothered by the lap lane.

I got in just about a mile before the storm came, so I had to get out. Oh well--I felt pretty good and the Ayatollah Belly was allowing me to do flip turns today, so I went with it. Touch and go just isn't as much fun.

As I swam, I thought, "Man...what a difference a year makes."

Last year at this time I was looking at Ironman in around 100 days. I was consistently swimming 4000 yards or more every time I got in the pool. My 100 yards hard were something I was proud of...not my 1992 times, but hey, still pretty sweet for me at least.

And now?

Man...I can tell if I go too hard within 25 yards. My body has a funny way of slowing me down and forcing me to cooperate. I've got a big ol' belly that gives me some strange looks as I don my swim cap and goggles.

I think people must be like, "She can't be serious...can she?"

The funny thing about living where you grew up (when you never in a million years dreamed you would) is that you are always reminded of little things that if you lived somewhere else, you'd probably forget. This pool is where I was a bona-fide POOL RAT. I did nothing but swim in this pool on the Summer Swim Team from the time I was 8-15. Every. Summer. Wake up, ride bike to pool, swim, ride home, eat, swim with friends, eat again, go to a swim meet, wash, sleep. Repeat.

I have so many great memories from those days. While I was very self-conscious and pretty socially awkward during a few of those key years, I felt at home here. I learned a lot about myself here. Last year, I learned even more.

I wondered as I swam, and saw lots of moms just sitting around soaking up the sun and reading magazines, what will next summer be like? I doubt I'll be able to just come up here and swim whenever I want to like I can now. Some of that freedom's gonna have to go.

But as Baby Z gets older, I think that I can still swim in this lap lane, back and forth, back and forth, while little Z plays and swims with its Little Z friends. Maybe it will want to be on the swim team, or maybe it won't. That's cool, too. But, I thought, I'll probably be right here, instead of a lounge chair reading US Weekly.

After all, even if Little Z doesn't get into swimming like I do, there's a KILLER set of water slides. What kid can resist those?

(I barely can, and I'm almost 30.)

This water has always been quite open to my possibilities.

It's kind of fun to think about how far I've come, and where I'm about to go.


DCTriGirl said...

I love how open you are to what possibilities ahead, but completely committed to staying true to who you are.

And I'm definitely jealous of your flip turn ability :-).
-DC Tri Girl

Wes said...

I think people must be like, "She can't be serious...can she?"

If they knew you were an Iron Mom in training, they wouldn't have to ask... But that's OK. We'll just leave them wondering.

Jennifer P said...

SSSSOOOOO jealous of your stroller.

Michele said...

We have the same problem with kids in the lap lanes during open swim time. And life guards who just don't care.
I have taken my kids to the pool with me lots of times and let them play while I did laps. They love it.
It is going to take some adjusting but you will make it work. You will be a great mom and a great athlete.

Cara said...

I know exactly what you mean -- I was a swim team kid, too. I don't live in the same town anymore, but I have flashbacks every time I go to the park pool here. I feel like I get funny looks now, too, but it might just be in my head. :)
I think it's awesome that you are still committed to swimming and staying in shape, and will NOT be one of the moms sitting in the lounge chair eating candy, reading magazines, and frying to a crisp! You are going to be such a great mom, and a fantastic role model for Baby Z! Yeah!! Iron Moms Unite!!!

TriShannon said...

If you were at the pool I think you were at then I think I "technically" learned to swim there too. Of course I knew how to swim, but swimming laps, training for a triathlon... that was all new for me. Did you get DQ after your swim? :-)