Friday, March 7, 2014

Swimming Lessons

Wednesday started swimming lessons. I had no idea what to expect or to bring or anything. So I changed into my suit, took the mandatory shower, brought my towel, goggles, and swim cap and sat down on the bench, on my towel. Someone came by to tell me that I could get in the water. I said “I'm waiting for the "In the swim" class”. He looked at the clock (I was 10 minutes early – go figure, right?) and said "Oh Shawn teaches that he is over there." I kinda shuddered at a young kid teaching but hey, you get out of stuff what you put into it. 

Shawn and his clipboard came over asked if I was Beth, I'd be one of two students. Oh ok. He asked my goals. I said, I can swim, or rather I can propel myself from point a to point b and I'd like to learn how to do it properly and get some stamina and maybe speed. I'd like to complete a triathlon. He took notes.

It was just me for my first lap, Chris (yikes, I think that is his name) hadn't shown up. Shawn asked me to swim a lap, freestyle. Um, erp, that means what exactly? He said, just swim how you swim. Oh ok. I kicked and pulled myself through the water. I am sure he thought, holy crap I've got my work cut out for me here, they don't pay me enough for this!

When the life guard got up out of the water and walked along side my 'freestyle' swim this made me a little nervous. Do I look like I am going to drown? Panic set in a bit. Eventually I figured this was a safety measure nothing about me. And if it was otherwise, let me live in my own little world, I feel safe here!

I got back to the shallow end and Shawn said “Couple of things” and smirked, ok this is going to be fun. “First, don't bend your knees when you kick, keep your legs straight and just flex at the feet, that is what is going to propel you forward.” Me: “Oh ok” “Second, you’re not a big fan of getting your face wet, I take it?” Me: “Um yeah...” “That needs to change.”

Shawn handed me a kick board and said down and back, just kick. Shawn didn’t offer any instruction, I didn’t ask. Hmmm I’ve heard of these things, kick board, guess I hold it under me, in front of me? I tried a couple different ways, making sure I kept my head out of the water. I’m sure I looked like a panicked turtle! I really put some effort in keeping my legs straight and wow they weren't as worn out when I got back to the shallow end.

Chris shows up, hops in the pool, Shawn has him ‘freestyle’ and assess his form. Apparently, after a discussion with my swimmer husband, freestyle is an actual stroke or something. Dave says, "I didn't know you didn't know how to swim." I said, "But I can swim." The look on his face was priceless.

"OK fine I can propel myself from point A to point B, the only thing I know about freestyle I learned from Flight of the Conchords" and (because I am a Michigan girl,) Eminem.” He rolled his eyes and laughed, “I need to see this.” Oh great, I told him no spectators, doesn’t he have a ride on Wednesday nights anyhow?

Now it’s Chris’s turn with the kick board. Shawn explains how to use it!!! I TOTALLY did it wrong, who knew you weren't supposed to use it like a body board? Chris goes down and back, Shawn mentions, while Chris is at the other end of the pool, this is the biggest age gap I've had with students, 23 years. I'm twice as old as Chris. Oh great, I'm old enough to be his mother I say. Again, I need to keep my trap shut. Only now I'm wondering if I am the anomaly or Chris is the anomaly.... oh does it really matter?

Chris gets back and now it’s time for both of us to go down and back with the kickboard. So much easier holding it way out in front of you but wow I REALLY need to get my face wet and not panic when I do!!! I should have put on the goggles it think being able to see will help???

All in all it was fun and definitely a work out, even the little swimming I did and mostly kicking with the board or on my back. I can seriously cruise kicking and floating, well at least I think so, and that is what counts right?

Shawn assured us, we would sleep well on Wed night! I’m sure the run with Mike B, swimming, and then a 2.5 mile walk with Gizmo factored nicely into zonking completely out until a.m. – something that doesn’t always happen. Oh if you’re scratching your head, really Beth, walk the dog? Believe me if you’ve met Lord Giz of the Mo you know how adamant he can get about what he wants. I am sure he knew it was his turn for a walk, he started in on me the minute I got home from work to feed them and change and bolt out to the Y and when I got back from the Y. It was either listen to him whine at me until bed time or just take him on his damn walk. Walking was far more pleasant than listening to the whine, but boy did the temps drop and with wind kick up from the nice sunny warm run in the afternoon.


Beth, who thinks the swimsuit spinner thing in the locker room is pretty awesome and wishes she didn’t sit on her towel, hard to dry off with a damp towel!!


  1. Ok, what is the swimsuit spinner thing?

    Great job with your first lesson. I did good yesterday and will get back in the water on Monday. Going to try and swim a lot next week and keep it going from there.

  2. It is this little box attached to the wall you stuff your suit in and then shut the lid and it spins it dry. Wicked cool!!! I didn't know what the box was and when I read the sign I though, oh how nifty!

    Can't wait to hear about your lessons!! See you Sunday!!

  3. This blog entry is priceless, Beth! After I came for my first swim at the Y (about 4 years ago?), the teacher told me much later he was surprised that I ever came back after that first appearance. Nice! (I had side-stroked, floated, everything I could do to make it 100 yards) I still have much to learn and improve on, but it does get easier and better. Stick with it! We need to grow the WTAC tri contingency.
    And, yes, the swimsuit spinner thing is really cool!

    1. Thanks Jeff! Glad to know I am not alone! Lesson #2 was better and I'm sure it will progress. I have a sprint tri in mind... we shall see.