Tuesday, September 11, 2007

why thank you

i got an interesting complement today. i was telling my co-workers that while swimming laps last Friday, i decided to teach myself kick turns. it's pretty common knowledge among my friends that i taught myself how to swim in college.
like most kids i knew how to "survival swim". my dad threw us out of the boat in a pond when we were kids and it forced us to learn how to swim. in an ironic twist, while an undergrad at UWF, i worked at the pool. don't worry, i was just in an admin job. anyway, to add to that irony, i dated a lifeguard. so the sign was clearly there. after hours of watching the guards and the local swim club, i decided that i wanted to learn to swim the right way. it would make a great form of exercise and could save my life one day. so i spent the next several weeks not actually swimming, but sitting in the stands watching the swim team. i'd pick one swimmer and practice "breathing" with them. so when they'd take a breath i'd take one. finally i put myself in the water, and after what seemed like months, i began to show signs of an actual swimmer. i sucked up a TON of water. but i finally got....sort of.
i believe in the piecemeal approach. so instead of tackling the whole thing at one time, i used a kick board and fins to practice kicking. then i'd use pull buoys to practice the stroke and breathing. the only problem was, i never really practiced putting it all together. and i'd just tag the wall and turn around when i was done with a length.
this went on for years. and i never even tried turns. then, the year i got married, i decided to do a mini triathlon. well, they won't let you use pull buoys so i had to learn to put it all together. so i taught myself that. more water consumed. i got it down enough to struggle through the event. but again, i never really tried turns.
that was until this past Friday. i won't go into all the details, but for some reason, i decided it was time. and i patiently tried again and again, talking myself through it. i practiced flipping up close to the wall, then incorporating a turn. i'd then back away from the wall, take off and flip, later adding the turn. finally i felt i had it enough to swim an actual lap and add the turn at the end. AND I DID IT!!! as a matter of fact i did 5 laps continuously! much water was consumed, but i stuck with it. so much so i'm excited about swimming tonight.
so after detailing this to my 2 office mates, one commented on how impressive that was, no really, that's awesome! but more than that, he commented that he's really impressed at how i'm always working to figure something out - mental, physical, emotional. and he felt like a lazy blob compared to me. he's not, but can i say that's one of the nicest things i think anyone has ever said. thank you very much!

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