Back in my element
by, September 21st, 2012 at 08:59 PM (349 Views)
During the summer of 2011, I seriously started toying with the idea of joining a Master’s program. Earlier in the year, I increased my gym visits and upped my weekly swims to ~3,500 yards. I ended up losing 20lbs and was feeling great! I had a subluxation event earlier in the year, but at that point it had become ‘no big deal’, and I wasn’t going to let it get me down.
I had thought about joining Masters in the past, but all the local teams had crappy practice times at either the butt-crack of dawn (no way Jose) or during the lunch hour (a no-go for this 9-5er). Plus, many of the city area teams were quite small and often just swam as a group with no coach on deck, and I knew that wouldn’t be very motivating for me. I was very much looking for a team atmosphere and a coach that would tell me what to do, lol. The team that had an on-deck coach and a reasonable evening practice schedule was a 20+ minute drive out to the suburbs, and to me that seemed like such a huge time commitment given that my work commute was also 20+ minutes in the opposite direction.
However, I was about to turn 30 and I got that feeling of having to do something ‘crazy’ again. I sure as hell wasn’t going to pick up the old skateboard, so I took the plunge and showed up for my first Master’s practice at the beginning of August 2011.
When I got there, I was caught off guard because a) the pool was outdoors; and b) it was set up for long course meters! I hadn’t swam long course in like, 15 years! The coach asked me about my background and how often I was currently swimming. I told him about my shoulder injury, and he told me to not over-do it and to adjust the sets if needed. Then he assigned me to Lane 4, right in the middle. I found myself in a lane with people much older than myself, and I thought, “Well then, here we go!”
I don’t know if it because I was younger or if it was because I wear swedish goggles (maybe both lol), but the people in my lane pretty much made me lead. I hadn’t had a real team practice or swam long course meters in forever and they wanted me to lead!? First, I remember thinking that the pool seemed never-ending, and second I was having a hard time with the digital clocks because I was so used to having the visual of a hand-clock. I wasn’t getting much rest so I really had to think hard to calculate those send-offs correctly lol. So that practice was a real physical AND mental challenge for me, but I made it. All 4200 meters of it. I think I got home and took a three hour nap…and when I awoke, I must have inhaled at least 2,500 calories.
The next day, as tired as I felt, I got up and went to the 9am practice. Two weeks later, I found myself completely hooked, back in my element, going 3-4 days per week and loving every minute of it.