Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New 52 | Week 2: Swim Class

I know how to swim, but I've never been really confident in the water. And I've never swam laps as a form of exercise. Two things in the past year have inspired me to get better at swimming.

The first is seeing Todd train for the San Diego Triathlon Classic (Olympic distance). He was so dedicated in getting in swim shape. He swam twice a week in the mornings at the YMCA pool, and he swam in the ocean several times to prepare for his race. I thought to myself, "I could NEVER do that!" But maybe, just maybe, I can start getting better at swimming.

The second is realizing that I need to branch out from running.  I really enjoy running.  But after a year and a half of training to run half marathons (13.1 miles) and running two half marathons, I've injured my right leg and it's taking months to rehab.  I enjoy being active, so it's time to branch out into different activities so I don't get the repetitive-motion injuries in my old age!

So, back in mid-December, I signed up for the 5 week adult swim class at the YMCA by my house.  The class meets twice a week at nights.  I was both excited and worried about it.  It's been six years since I've actually swam.  What if I had forgotten how? 

And, I had to suffer through the indignity of  finding out that my old Nike swim suit that was almost new does not fit anymore, no matter how much I tugged and pulled at it.  The cutout in the back was as if meat from a sausage was spilling out of its casing.  (Need to work on that back fat, yo!)  THEN I had to suffer through the second indignity of trying on swim suits at my local sporting goods store RIGHT AFTER the holidays.  Oh boy that was not a pretty sight.  In fact it was downright scary.  Did you know that Speedo swimsuits are in REAL sizes?  As in, if you think you're a size 6 in clothing at Old Navy, you're a size 10 in a Speedo swimsuit?  Yea, real encouraging.

Swim class started on Monday, January 3rd.  But I didn't get to actually swim until this past Monday, January 10th.  Why, you ask?  Here's how it went that first Monday.  I get to the pool a couple of minutes late and jump into the water.  Less than a minute later, the lifeguard yells at everyone to get out of the water.  I had no idea why.  Then our instructor found out why.  A kid in the previous class had pooped in the water.  :-|  And according to the YMCA rules, everyone has to stay out of the water for an hour after a "fecal incident".  (Obviously after removal of said fecal and putting cleaning chemicals in the water.)  So that class was canceled.  THEN on Wednesday 1/5 I went home after work to get ready to go to swim class, only to get a message on the answering machine from the YMCA.  "We have another fecal today and the pool is closed for the rest of the evening."  SERIOUSLY???  That kid needs to be banned from the pool!

So the third time was a charm this past Monday.  I got to the pool early to acclimate myself.  I was shocked to find that I remembered how to swim!  The instructor worked with us at our own levels.  So for me, she told me to swim 10 laps while breathing every 3rd stroke.  Then swim 10 laps while breathing every 5th stroke.  I was totally out of swim shape and couldn't do the 5th stroke breathing that well.  I would cheat and breathe on the 3rd stroke after breathing on the 5th stroke.  It was hard, but I couldn't believe I was doing it!  Me being able to swim back and forth in the first swim class was beyond my expectations.  I was so excited!  And I love my swim cap.  Even though I look like a total dork with my swim cap and goggles on, I realized that my hair wasn't getting in the way and I could see.  Both good things while swimming.  So, I embraced those facts instead of worrying about looking like a sausage with a blue nubbin on the end.  :p

My first swim class was a success.  I hope I get better and better at swimming and can incorporate regular swimming into my exercise routine.  My goal is to eventually be able to swim laps for 30 minutes.  I'm on my way!


New52 is a project started by Peppermint and I to encourage each other and others around us to try something new every week in 2011. The "new" each week doesn't have to be something big. It could be something as simple as ordering a new dish instead of old standbys at your favorite restaurant. It's simply opening your heart up to NEW possibilities.

Don't worry if you're late getting started on joining in. It's totally OK if you miss a week here or there. We encourage everyone to keep an open mind about trying something new. This is a life project, and a photography/blog and even scrap challenge if you wish. If you participate this week, please leave a link to your blog post in the link list below. You can also post images to our New 52 Flickr Group! We would love to see what you were inspired to do.


  1. Awww, i thought we were going to get to see you IN the gear!

    Promise me you'll send me a photo of you with the goggles on. PROMISE ME.

  2. WTG Christine ... but eugh @ the two "fecal incidents" thing ... that's just gross; funny but gross! Hopefully the culprits will get their toilet habits under control so no more of your lessons get cancelled!

  3. 'ban that kid from the pool' bwahahahaha!

    'looking like a sausage with a blue nubbin on the end'...bwahahahahahaha!

    Can you tell I laughed my way through your post?

    Good for you and the swimming. Swimming is HARD.
    Did you get yourself a hamburger afterwards?? I would have. Because nothing helps that swimsuit figure like a big, juicy hamburger. ;)

  4. Dalyla would say "What the poop?" LOL

    I agree with Peppermint. Photos Photos Photos! Not only do I want to see you in those goggles but that swim cap too. If you can take a picture eating a big old hamburger then you can do this! LOL

    Seriously! I'm so proud of you! You are so inspiring. I can't even swim and I want to jump in a pool right now.

  5. cool you rock it! Congrats!
    I should do it by myself

  6. okay, this post just made me laugh, I can so relate to so many things (i.e. not being a very good/strong swimmer, the swimsuit shopping, the indignity of back fat, etc.) I am so inspired by you doing this though, I really should do swim lessons, b/c I am not a very good swimmer. at. all.

    Anyway, I am with the others, I want cute pictures of you in your swim cap (it doesn't have to be a full body shot!).

  7. I just came from the beach and it drove home the fact that I while I can swim, I'm not a strong one. Drop me in the ocean and I WILL drown. My building has a perfectly usable pool. I have flexible hours. There's no reason for me NOT to practice AND probably get some cardio in as well. Thanks for inspiring me, Christine! :)


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