Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I have to swim how far?

Once, a Taoist master sat with his disciples at the edge of a large, raging river. Suddenly, one of the disciples stood up and shouted that an elderly man had been caught in the river. Helpless, the party watched as the man tumbled over rocks, was dunked under water, and thrown about by the current. Assuming that he had been killed, they were astonished to see the old man climb out of the river, completely unharmed. Surprised, the master walked up to the man, and said:

"You have survived a very treacherous peril. You must be some sort of spirit!"

The old man simply laughed a kind laugh and replied:

"No, no. I've been doing that since I was a boy. I simply let the river take me. I don't struggle, I don't thrash about. I simply place myself in the river's care, and the river takes care of me."

I need to remember this tale.

Went to the Y.M.C.A. yesterday to swim with my wife. Did 6 really slow laps.

Did I ever mention what a horrible swimmer I am? Seriously, I do not seem to be able to get swimming down. I swallow water through my nose, I can't float and I don’t breath right. I get one length down the pool and my heart rate is elevated and I am out of breath. That’s not even 1 lap! I need to rest for 60 seconds before I attempt the next length. I read articles on swim strokes and watch videos on YouTube, but I still don’t seem to be able to put it all together. I didn’t want to admit it but, I think I need to go to swimming class.

I also need to heed the advice of the old man in the Taoist parable above. If I remain calm, and let things happen naturally instead of forced, good results will follow.

I do actually enjoy being in the water. Anyone living in the great lakes region should enjoy being in the water. Unfortunately, enjoying the water and being a good swimmer are 2 different things. Could I get to shore if the boat I was on sank? If it was a mile or so offshore then yes, I could. That does not make me an efficient swimmer; it just means I can propel myself in various forms through the water.

Now beginner triathlon books say that I can do any stroke I like so long as I swim the required length. That’s cool, I can do that. The thing is, I don’t WANT to do that. I want to do the freestyle stroke like most other people probably do. Its not that I want to be competitive and be in the front of the crowd; I just want the pride of being able to swim the course in the manner it was intended and be able to finish the swim segment in a halfway reasonable time.

Speaking of halfway reasonable times, I need to work on my running.

Oh, and while I'm at it I figure I also need to work on my cycling.

Hmm, if you are beginning to notice a trend here your right; I am not a triathlete…yet.

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