Throwing Away The Mold
And so it begins.
When the group workouts began in June, 2013 for my last (and first) Team in Training triathlon, I was unable to attend the entire first week due to a trip I was on with my bicycle and some friends. Two of the other people I was with were also interested in working out with the team and none of us wanted to come home only to find we had fallen behind in our training experience before even meeting the other members of our team.
So, the first chance we got, we decided to take a plunge into a motel pool. I had not been in a pool for too many years to count, and when I had been in one before, I wasn’t wearing goggles or a swim cap or any of the fancy ‘swimmer’s’ paraphernalia. I simply got in and romped.
While in the motel pool, I was sure I was going to glide through the water like a dolphin and touch the wall on the other end with plenty of energy and spirit for the return trip. And I was going to do that over and over again and still have energy enough to hop out of the pool and do some jumping jacks and some sprinting in place with the high knees directly after.
Oh, I was going to crush it!
Such grand plans I had for that first-time-since-I-was-a-kid full on pool swim. Why, I got in the water, donned my cool looking reflective goggles – just like the pros wear – and I set my feet to the wall and my face underwater and shoved off with all the force I could muster.
And I was gone! I SPRINTED from one end of the pool to…the middle. Who am I kidding? I wasn’t even to the middle of the pool before I had my head out of water and was gasping for air, a bit disoriented and certain I had made it to the other end. I quickly realized how wrong I was when my flailing arms continued to touch only water, not wall. Never wall.
I bring that first experience up here because I do not want to forget it.
The official group training has begun for my next triathlon with TNT – Lavaman. The team met and, although outside temperatures were at or slightly above freezing, we got in the pool. The outside pool. Under clear blue skies and cold, still and dry air.
I was told the water would be heated and, once inside, I’d be warm and cozy. The pool probably was heated, but I never got to the promised cozy warmth. Throughout the drills and instruction, I never stopped shivering.
Once I got in and started swimming, however, I really didn’t think (much) about the shivering. What kept going through my head was “I’m doing it.”
I had tossed my swim cap on, then my goggles and, after some minor adjustments to both, I set my feet to the wall and my face near the water’s surface and shoved off with just enough force to get me started. Then, I was swimming to the other end of the pool. And back. And I did this over and over again. There were even several swim drills tossed in to mix things up and a few sprint relays with other teammates.
However, there was no gliding across the water for me. And I would NEVER have been mistaken for a dolphin in there. I managed to touch the wall on both ends and did so with a pace that allowed me the energy and spirit to complete each return trip.
It was interesting for me to complete the workout and think back to that day in the motel pool only a few short months ago. Such a different experience it was. And, I have to say, I was probably a different person in some ways.
It’s all just another venture outside the zone that has kept me comfortable throughout the majority of my life. Without wandering about and taking chances, one simply cannot grow as a person or step out of the hardened mold that makes them what they are, but does not allow them room to become more.
The same journey that has led me to witness my own personal growth, as well as the increase in physical and emotional endurance, has not come without its complications and many challenges. All of which pale in comparison to those who have had to travel a road laid out before them by Cancer.
The money raised by TNT participants has enabled LLS to fund millions of dollars of research to help advance new treatments and cures for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and provide critical education and support to Cancer patients and their families.
There’s still time for you to be a part of the bigger picture!
Please consider making a donation on my page. Know that 78% of all donations will go to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and 100% of ALL donations are tax deductible.
One stroke…One pedal…One step…Closer to a Cure!