Friday, July 17, 2009

Day Five - On My Own

Today was the last day of swim lessons, and much to my surprise, the water polo team was not practicing so the deep end was conspicuously empty. Miss Bug and I ventured down to the first lane in the deep end, and I was glad to have a chance to use the deep end with my instructor vs. a first experience on my own.

Keeping my eyes open underwater is just a strange experience. It opens up a whole new world. For example, swimming in a straight line. When I swim with my eyes closed, I veer all over the pool, running into people and opening my eyes in the opposite direction of where I wanted to be. With my eyes open, I can, wonder of all wonders, follow the painted line on the bottom of the pool and actually swim in a straight line. I knew there was a magic secret to all those Olympic swimmers! I could also watch the depth of the pool start with a manageable depth where I could touch on one end and drop sharply to a depth that was way over my head. It was a bit like riding a roller coaster. I can never decide which is the lesser of the two evils: riding the entire time with my eyes closed so I can't see all the petrifying parts and having my stomach drop out when we go upside down or riding with my eyes open, anticipating the ridiculously scary parts but having the safety net of knowing they are coming. But I digress...

We started the lesson with a front crawl and I swam TWO laps consecutively without stopping or turning on my back to rest. So I'm now 2/9 of the way to my goal of a sprint distance tri. We followed that up with two laps of back stroke, then focused on the breast stroke. We did 1/2 a lap of breast stroke and I was starting to put it together, but still thinking too much. Miss Bug gave me a few pointers (chin against chest, stroke more quickly, breathe more quickly) and all of a sudden it clicked. The entire 1/2 lap to the other side of the pool was actually a breast stroke. A pretty bad one, but it at least entered the category of "breast stroke" and moved out of the "flailing wildly much to the entertainment of others" category. When we reached the other side, Miss Bug was ecstatic and encouraging. I think she never thought I'd figure it out. We did another full lap of breast stroke to cement it in my memory and I even got an "amazing improvement" comment. NICE!

We worked on the butterfly too. We did a lap on my back with flippers that were ten sizes too big to try to figure out the wavy, dolphin kick thing. It wasn't really connecting with my brain. So we flipped to the stomach with a kick board and flippers and did a lap like that. In that LONG and SLOW lap, I think I felt the required kick position three times but at least I recognized it when I did it correctly. If I actually practice it, I think I'll figure it out.

The deep end was empty and Miss Bug said I could stay and practice, but Katie's birthday party is in two hours and there is MUCH to be done still. I did one more lap of front crawl and called it a day. I didn't get a report card to show my mom like the kids did last week, but I definitely am coming away with a sense of empowerment from my week of lessons.

Next week I start physical therapy twice a week for my knee and I need to keep swimming. How I'll add those to love my husband, mother my kids, be a good friend, and maintain a good house remains to be seen, but we'll figure it out. I'm on my own now!

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