Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Really Big Deal

At least for me, its a really, really big deal.

It is no secret that swimming and I have a love-hate relationship at the very best... and the "love" portion of that relationship is a stretch.

Nothing in this wonderful journey has ever made me lose sleep like swimming has. Nothing. But I have come to terms with it. I have learned to love to swim. And again, "love" is a stretch.

I played golf in a previous life. Well, I went out and hit a few balls every now and then. They would hook, they would slice and every once in a blue moon, they would go straight, I would hit the fairway, I would miss the bunkers and avoid the water. They tell me that this is golf's way of making you come back again.

Swimming I have found out, is very similar. I would have those swims that goodness, made me wonder what in the world I was doing. Those, early on, were the majority. Then I started seeing progress, albeit small progress but progress nonetheless.

This year I have worked very hard on my swim. Not because I want to break world records, but because I know that working very hard is the only way to stay where I was. It requires a lot of work to not take a step back.

The early morning swims have become my favorite. Swimming in the afternoon is tough. But sometimes we have to do what we  need to do to get the job done. Swimming in the lake is now my favorite place to swim. The pool, specially those long sessions, I try to avoid. I seem to swim faster and longer in the lake. Perhaps it has to do with knowing that I can't stop, that I can't stand and take a breather. Also, there's no black line, there's no wall to push from.

Last week on Wednesday, I hit the swimming golf ball straight into the fairway. I went 2.5 miles, non-stop in some four minutes faster than I did in Ironman Louisville in 2011. Yes, for me this is a big deal. I will still be in the back of the pack in my age group in the swim, but this I'll take.

I will continue to swim my laps. I will continue to swim open water as time allows. I will continue to believe that I'm doing everything within my power to maintain, if not ever so slightly, improve my time.

I will show up on September 28 ready to swim. I will take whatever the Ironman gives me. Whatever time limit I have, whatever cut-off time is placed upon me. All my energy will be spent on matters I can control, not in any that I can't. I will swim my swim, one stroke at a time. I will make it to the swim exit where my wife and daughter will be waiting and I will see in their face how happy they are that I have conquered the Ironman Swim...and at this point my race begins.

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