Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Master Swim

Since this year seems to be the year of the triathlon for us, hubby and I have started to take a Masters Swim class. Last Thursday night was my first class.

I learned to swim as a youngster at the YMCA. I continued to take lessons at various recreation centers in my youth, but I was never a great swimmer. I can manage to swim well enough to complete a sprint level triathlon. Since this year's goal is an international distance for me and a half Ironman for hubby, we decided we needed extra help.

I was very nervous in the class. Luckily, there were about 12 people there, so it worked out well to have 4 people in each of the 3 lanes. Both of us easily got spots in the beginner's lane. The Masters class has a set workout for a one hour session. There is a trained coach there for assistance and critique. There are also lane leaders who are people who have been to several classes and know most of the technical drills.

I was scared that I would not be able to swim for a full hour. Our warm-up consisted of several 200 meter drills (that's 8 pool laps per drill!). At the end of the first drill, I was pretty tired. I felt like I had to swim as fast as I could just to keep out of my fellow swimmers way. I was getting pretty discouraged at first, but with the help of my hubby and my other lane mates, I continued to swim.

My normal reaction to critique is to quit. I almost quit the class. I realized that the coach was giving me tips and not making a personal assault on my swimming skills. I also realized that I came to the class to become a better swimmer. If a certified swim coach says I need to rotate my hips more, then it is not a criticism, but something I need to do to have a better swim stoke. Once this realization was out of the way, I actually enjoyed and got a lot out of the class.

Sadly, I have a different class this week, so I will be unable to attend this week's Master swim. I am already looking forward to next week. I feel confident that taking this class, listening to the coach, and swimming on my own will have a very positive affect on my swim times this year.


TheBookFetish said...

So proud of you! The whole triathalon sounds so intimidating to even undertake. I'm glad you realized that a critique isn't always the same as a criticism. Keep it up!

Susan Mo said...

Thanks, Ashley! Triathlons are really so much fun. There are short course races called sprints that are great for starting triathletes. I have found that I enjoy triathlons even more than running races.

Yes, that whole criticism/critique things is hard for me. I walked out on a Tai Chi class once because I felt like I was being picked on. I should have stuck with it.