Friday, July 19, 2013

Head First

I have a confession to make.

Wednesday, at the pool, about fifteen minutes into our workout, I cried. 

Out of sheer frustration, but still, I cried.

And I learned something really important about myself: I love to swim but I am not a big fan of the other stuff that comes with swimming in pools - like flip turns and diving. 

Wednesday morning we were told that we were swimming 50x50m. Some 50s were fast, some were easy. Some were kicking and some were dragging. 

All of them had one thing in common: they started and ended in the deep end and we had to climb out after each 50m and dive back in. 

The rationale was that it would give us a great arm workout. 

"Um, I don't dive. I hate diving." I immediately said. "Can you give us some tips or something?" 

"Keep your head down" was the only tip I got. Plus a bit of encouragement about getting better with practice. 

I dove in. My goggles shifted and immediately filled with water. 

"I hate this" I thought. 

I climbed out and was told that my dive was actually pretty good. I didn't care. I just clenched my jaw and dove again. Goggles pushed hard against my nose and shifted, filling with water. 

Bloody hell I hate this. 

By about the fifth one, I was crying with frustration. No matter what I tried, how I tucked or didn't tuck my head, how close to the side or far from the side I dove, my goggles shifted or just plain hurt my face. I pulled off my swim cap and tucked my goggle strap underneath it. Still sucked. 

I am stubborn and I did 45 of the 50 before I had to leave.  I dove most of them.

By the time I left I had a huge bruise on my shin from climbing out of the pool 45 times and my face hurt from diving back in. 

"Not your favourite workout eh?" Christine asked.

"Not even close" was all I could mumble before leaving. 

The next morning I woke up to discover four kinds of pain. My abs hurt from heaving my body up and out of the pool. I take that as a good pain. 

My butt hurt from lifting myself up with my leg after using my arms to get myself halfway out of the water. Another good pain.

My shin was black and blue and very tender from leaning on it 45 times getting out of the pool. Bad pain.

My eye sockets were so tender I couldn't touch them. There is no visible bruising but they were puffy and still sore two days later. Bad pain. 

Tether me to four buckets and make me do 200m sprints and I will happily do them. 

Tie me to the wall and have me work as hard as I possibly can to fight the tether and I actually look forward to it. 

300m time trials are awesome. 

1900m open water races are fun and not quite long enough.

Freezing cold open water swims feel wonderful and pushing myself to the point of exhaustion feels great. 

Diving? If I never ever have to dive again, I'll be a very happy girl. 

And I can tell you right now that I will not be participating in any indoor races if diving is involved. I can't even tell you how uninterested I am in that. 


  1. Ugh. One cannot dive without holding goggles in place, that's just cruel!
    sore eye sockets? NO THANKS!

  2. That workout sounds sadistic.

    I was so happy to learn the day before the NYC Tri last year that age-group folks like me were *not allowed* to dive off the starting barge. Plopping in feet first and then taking off was so much better.

    You should see if you can replace the actual hopping out and diving back in next time with a couple of press-outs and a push off the wall. It will probably have the same effect without the actual diving and bruised shins.