Do something for the first time

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October 3, 2016 by Soo Ee

I had my first triathlon pool training session.

When I arrived at the pool, I noticed a group of people in the their swim caps, goggles and triathlon gear swim wear. I was the only one in running shorts and sports bra.

I thought to myself, “Was it even a good idea to start to learn to swim, at my age?”

After the coach’s introduction and what was to be expected for the day, I went over to introduce myself

“Hi, I’m Soo, the noob swimmer.”

He asked me if I was able to swim 100 m without stopping and if I knew what was my 100 m swim timing, both of which my answer was no. I wasn’t even sure if my front crawl could make it across the length of the pool.

He assured me that it was all good and pointed to the other end of the pool, “Go over to the lady in red and tell her you’re in middle C”

I looked over to where he pointed and saw a less intimidating group of people.

When we were told to get into the pool for our warm up, the first thing I noticed was that the water was uncomfortably cold and the rope burn on my shin stung. I felt a little beaten. I wanted to run to my bag, grab my towel to wrap myself before running to the car to go home. I was thinking about my half eaten roasted chicken wrap.

I was regretting the Crossfit session I did an hour ago. I may have burnt too much calories and now I am going to freeze to death in this pool.

“Swim 3 laps easy and one lap faster” said the coach. Her coach distracted me from Doomsday thoughts and I started my swim. Surprisingly, I started to warm up and didn’t feel as cold. I have got to get used to swimming in cold water.

After a few laps made up of different peed and distances, I was allowed to rest. I think she noticed that I was struggling. I was not stroking the water proper and on a few occasions, I switched to front crawl. I was also drinking a huge amount of chlorinated water.

I was glad to rest but when I started to feel the same bone chilling cold, I followed the rest of the swimmers out.

The group went out and came back real fast. There was this lady, in her 60s maybe. She was nice and encouraging. She told me it was difficult for her too in the beginning but after a few sessions, she got better. She answered the many questions I had – why did she change goggles in between laps, how long had been training, was it always this cold, was the intensity always this high. I spoke to this 10 yo girl in the group too. She was trying to catch up with the group too but she did it better than I.

I thanked my coach after the session. The coach said the distance we swam, in total, was about 1 km. Wow. I survived swimming 1 km. I only learnt to swim when I was in my twenties and have never swam more than 30 minutes at this intensity before.

This was awesome! The adrenaline was awesome.

I couldn’t help but felt a little proud of myself. My first pool swimming lesson!

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