This weekend….in just 2 short days…I will be competing in my first swim meet, in a pool, in years….pray for me.
I have been a swimmer since I was about 6 years old. Swimming has always come naturally to me. I always kid around about triathlon. When someone asks me what my favorite discipline is, out of the three, I always answer the same: “Swimmer by nature, Runner by love, Biker by necessity.” And it’s the truth.
I can swim all day, every day, and never injure anything or get tired of it. I can swim any stroke, any distance, or with any equipment, indoor or out. Doesn’t matter to me. Swimming is like breathing.
I have competed in open water, pretty much exclusively, for a couple of decades. But, the pool? Haven’t gone to an actual swim meet in years. Many, many years.
So, I’m signed up for an actual swim meet this weekend. I’m not sure how I feel about it. Number 1: I feel old. Really old. Number 2: I am excited, but in a weird way. I can’t explain it. Number 3: did I mention that I haven’t swam in a meet for a long time?
I went off the blocks last week, while training with one of my swimming and triathlon buddies. It felt so weird and foreign to me. I hadn’t done it in so long, I felt like I was going to fall off of the starting block! Then, I wondered, will I pull this off? Will I hurt myself? These are questions that will be answered this weekend. For better, or for worse.
The last time I swam competitively, I made Nationals. I went, too. Because it was in Indianapolis and it wasn’t too far of a drive. Wow. What an experience. So, of course, I am looking at the cutoffs as I head into this meet. Why? I don’t know, I suppose to torture myself further.
I’ve always been competitive when it comes to swimming; it’s just in my blood. While, with running and triathlon, it’s just me out there enjoying myself. Two very different animals. I want to approach this weekend in the same laid back way that I do trail racing. I’m working on it, I really am.
But, in the back of my mind, I’m still thinking about those cut off times.
We’ll see what happens. In the meantime, I’ll just hope and pray that this old lady doesn’t slip and fall on the pool deck and bust her hip….
Run Happy, Run Long.
Amy is an ultramarathoner and triathlete, a mother of four, an Exercise Physiologist and a Physical Therapist. She lives with her husband, Dan (also an ultramarathoner and triathlete), and kids in Ohio.