In Search of: Silly Swimsuits and a Sprint Triathlon

I’m interrupting my usual posts to chat about my next endeavor.  I’ve found I’m more motivated to keep up with my workouts if I have a goal.  And a goal I have!  Allow me to share…

It all started one Friday morning when I was bored in my classroom, grading.  Seeing as how I often want to take that red pen and poke an eye out with it, I welcome interruptions during such times.  One day last school year, another teacher came into my classroom and broke up the monotony.  We started chatting about training for her first triathlon.  I may have mentioned completing a triathlon was on my bucket list.  (It’s likely this situation is entirely my fault.)  She then invited me to train with her.  Off the hook.  Sorry, I can’t train with you — I’ll be out of town all summer.  I won’t even be here for the triathlon.  (There are occasions when putting something on your bucket list makes you question your sanity — just FYI.)

No problem, she quipped.  I’m doing another in the fall!

I was bored.  This somehow sounded like a grand idea.  I signed on.

Naturally, after returning from Central America, I attempted to talk myself out of the triathlon.  What are you thinking?  You’re totally not going to be ready for this!  Except I had already shared this goal with several people.  Of course, they asked about it.  How’s that training coming along?  I backpedaled a little.  I complained about not owning a bike.  I tried to think of an excuse.  There can’t possibly be enough time to train properly, right?

And then I had a few conversations with the guy I’m dating (yes, I totally just said that) about the tri.  He’s thinking about doing it with me.

Me:  I don’t have a bike.  And the cycling section is all up hill.  Do you know that road?  It’s hell.

Him:  I wouldn’t worry so much about the bike.  But swimming — do you swim?

Me:  Does snorkeling with a pair of fins count?

Him:  No.

Me:  Hmmmm.

So after all the hemming and hawing, I realized I need to at least attempt to train.  And with all my knee ailments, it couldn’t hurt to take up swimming.  If the triathlon doesn’t happen this season, so what?  Did you see the bodies of those Olympic swimmers?  Obviously, swimming is a grand workout.

But here’s what people forget to tell you right after they tell you the amazing exercise benefits of swimming: you look like an ass while doing it!  True story.

So I go to Big 5 with guy-I’m-dating, and he shows me goggles and swim caps and suits.  I take a few to the fitting room to try them on.  OMG.  I have back fat!  Seriously.  I never knew.  But all the things you never knew about your body seem ever so obvious when you put one of those things on.  They’re so tight.  And grippy.  Every inch of skin is pushed this way and that.  And did I mention the actual act of putting it on?  It’s like some sort of circus contraption.  Am I doing this right?  That’s what I thought as I hopped around the fitting room, attempting to get the damn thing up over my hips.  Maybe it’s not the right size.  I try on larger sizes.  Same issue.

Guy-I’m-dating:  You’re not getting anything?

Me:  No.  I think I need to do some research.

Guy:  There’s not much to research.  The best research is probably just trying them on.

Me:  No.  It’s scary.  I need research.

I researched the next day and watched YouTube videos of Michael Phelps kicking ass in the water.  I could be the next Michael Phelps!  Okay.  No.  I couldn’t.  But this inspired me to head back to the store, be brave, and get that suit.  So I did.  And then I went home and watched YouTube videos about how to put on a swim cap and how to put swim goggles on.  (Don’t laugh.  You would do it too.)

I put all my gear on and looked in the mirror.  And then I decided looking in the mirror was likely not the best idea.

I found swim workout plans and beginner triathlon training plans, and I started piecing this thing together.  I went out and tried swimming laps (I liked it!).

It’s official.  I shall attempt to train for the triathlon in October.  If I’m not ready in time, so be it.  But I’m super excited!  The ridiculous looking swim gear is actually kind of cool when you realize how much better you can swim with it on.  And the idea of being good at swimming, running and biking — at the same time — yep, that’s pretty much pushing me forward.  (Plus, how awesome would it be to say I’m a triathlete?)

So that’s what I’m doing these days.  That’s what’s got me moving.  What’s got you moving?

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