Resolution Roadblock

One of my resolutions this year was to find some (fun, enjoyable) activities that I can do to get fit. For the last couple years I have wanted to start swimming.

I took swimming lessons when I was a kid, and got all the way up to maroon level. Which I failed. Twice, I believe. I stopped there because, apparently, that’s what I do (what do you mean I didn’t pass without practicing? Screw this!)

I haven’t really done any swimming since then, but when I do get in a pool I enjoy doing laps. So, I figure this could be one activity I could at least try out this year.

The first step was to get a proper swimming suit. You know, to actually swim in, not to lie-on-a-beach in, or float-around-on-an-air-filled-mattress in. I bought one this week. I think it was the only thing at The Bay that wasn’t on sale.

The second step is to, well, swim. The tricky part isn’t finding a pool to use. Our apartment complex has a nice indoor pool, and the gym that I apparently have a membership with also has one (with lanes and everything).

The problem is getting over my anxiety of…sucking. I don’t want to be the lame woman at the pool that has to resort to using the doggy-paddle, or one of those flutter boards, because I haven’t been swimming in so long.

I also don’t have goggles. Do many people use these? Will I look like a moron if I don’t use them? What about a nose plug? And all that shaving…(was that TMI?)

Are you reading what I’m reading? Clearly these are all lame excuses. I need to just force myself to go, and hope that no one really gives a crap about what I’m doing or how I’m doing it.

So, Monday morning, about an hour after I have breakfast, I’m going to head to the gym and do this thing. I’m even going to put it in my day planner.

Hopefully I don’t drown…

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Comments on: "Resolution Roadblock" (12)

  1. Hi Alyssa,

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

    I swim 3x/week with the US Masters. Here's my advice:

    Don't worry about sucking! When I started, it was a struggle just to get down the length of the pool. You'll eventually build up your strength and the activity will become easier as your body becomes accustomed to the movements. I suggest looking into lessons at a local swim center or college. Even if you know how to swim, lessons will help you refine your technique and you may find a swimming buddy.

    There's nothing wrong with using a kickboard. Kicking is a great way to get an aerobic workout without worrying about your breathing or stroke.

    DO get goggles. To do any stroke properly, you will need to put your face in the water and it quickly becomes uncomfortable if your eyes are unprotected. Goggles will also improve your vision underwater. My favorite are the Speedo Sprint goggles. They have a comfortable foam gasket.

    Please feel free to email me if you have any questions! Swimming is a great sport. It's kind to your joints, provides resistance training, and engages your entire body.

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  2. ha, this sounds like me. And no, don't care about the shaving or the paddling or what ever… just get in the pool and enjoy it. such a fun time, I miss swimming but I don't have a pool near by so Monday I will be in the spinning class instead 🙂

    ah… new years resolutions!

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  3. Kasmira – thanks for visiting, and for your helpful comments! I'll definitely pick up some goggles on the weekend, and see how things go on Monday.

    Chall – I hear ya! I was going to hit up a spinning class this morning, but I didn't want to chip my car out of an ice block just for that, so I'm going to do Wii instead :S

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  4. hey Alyssa, I've a huge fan of swimming and lifeguarded for many years, so I've witnessed the whole spectrum of swimmers in action.

    Definitely don't worry about sucking! The fact that everyone is partially underwater doing their own thing is one aspect that I really like about swimming because no one else is judging you or comparing themself to you, as may be the case in other exercise environments. I too tend to hate activities that I am not good at, but I think the nature of lane swimming eliminates a lot of that anxiety.

    I would echo the advice to get goggles, they make things much more enjoyable and keep an eye on lane signs (“slow”, “fast”) so you know where to best hop it

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  5. Thanks for your comments, Liz! I can see how it would be hard to see, or even pay attention to, how others are doing in the pool. I just hope to go at a time where there are very few people there.

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  6. Definitely goggles! They really do make things better.

    If the pool's in your building, maybe you could find a really quiet time to use it until you get a wee bit of confidence. Like, 3 am on a Wednesday. Doesn't that sound appealing? Solves the shaving problem too, though.

    I enjoyed my swimming when I was doing it. I got out of the habit when the friends I was going with had their babies and stopped going. I might hold off until they open up the athletes' training centre near my house as a community pool after the Olympics – the current pool is old and kinda gross.

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  7. Cath – I went to check out the pool this afternoon around 3pm and there was no one in it. So, that might be a thought.

    That would be so nice to be able to use the pool at the training centre!

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  8. Alyssa – you crack me up – and I am the same way! I don't know any fancy swimming strokes, so I feel like a moron when I swim laps. I also *cannot* swim in a straight line so I end up running in to the lane separator thingies… it's quite a sight. But yeah, just get out there and try it. Once I got past the feelings of feeling like an idiot, it was fun (and it's great exercise, too)! 😀

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  9. Definitely get goggles (you might have to try a couple before you find a pair that do a good job of keeping the water out) and a bathing cap is also a good thing. Kickboards are a great way to learn how to keep your body straight and to get your face into the water. If you can't keep your legs up, get a short pair of swim fins – that's also a great way to tone up your legs. As far as the arm stroke goes, you're probably best seeing a coach for a couple of lessons or asking someone who is a fairly decent swimmer for help.

    Once you get into it, swimming can be a great way to exercise and get away from talking, tv, etc … unless you get a waterproof mp3 player!

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  10. PiT – thanks! Goggles it is – I'm getting a pair today. I think I probably will use a kickboard to start with, but we'll see (not sure if they're available at the gym or not).

    Ella – Yay! A non-practically-professional swimmer! LOL Thank you so much for your comment. It's nice to hear from someone who sounds just like me, and actually powered through and did it!

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  11. I haven't been able to do swim training for a couple of years (damned shoulders) but when I did I was unable to swim for more than about half an hour without needing to stop. Using a kickboard can be very useful when your arms get tired and all of the top level swimmers use them during training so they're not just for beginners 🙂 If your gym/pool doesn't have them (they probably will) pick one up at the store – they're relatively cheap.

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  12. Thanks PiT! I seem to remember seeing them at the gym's pool, so that will be helpful. I'm glad I won't look ridiculous if I use one. I just remember using them as a kid in swimming lessons, so I guess I equate them with being a novice.

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