Monday, October 05, 2009

I am a new athlete

Disclaimer: That is not me in the above picture. I AM NOT that hairy. Just wanted to make sure you all knew that. :)

I have been with my new coach, Bob, now for almost 2 months. One thing that he says to me over and over is, "You are a new athlete." The first time he said it I thought to myself, "yeah, ok, whatever." Then I worked out more, listened to what he instructed me to do, and got a little stronger in my workouts. He said it again. That time I thought to myself, "You know what, I am a new athlete" and smiled to myself.

A while back, Bob, suggested that I take a Master Swim Class. Ok, now when I hear the word Master I think, you know, they've mastered swimming, they are all good, they are all going to kick my butt in the pool, master swimming, so when Bob suggested it, I just laughed to myself. He told me, "you are a new athlete. Sign up for it. You'll be fine." Well, since I pay this man to coach me, and he thought it was a good idea, I went ahead and signed up. I was scared the first time, even had some anxiety that first class. Coach Marsha, my masters swim class coach, is AWESOME. She put me in the beginner lane, which, to my surprise, I was not the only one in there. I thought I would die that first class. There were times that I had to stop and rest after only 25 yards. I did not think that first class would ever end, but it did, and you know what? I survived. I didn't drown. No one laughed at me. Everyone was very encouraging. I was looking forward to the next class. I was a new athlete that day.

Today marked my 7th or 8th Masters Swim Class. I'm still in the slow lane, but I'm getting stronger every day. I swam 2050 yards today. People did you read that? I'll write it again, 2050 yards, that is 1.16 miles. I had to stop and rest, but guess what, not every 25 yards and I had a first today. I swam 150 yards without stopping. 150, that's huge for me, HUGE. I did not think that I was going to be able to finish the last 50 yards of that 150 yards, but do you know what kept me going and pushing? It was a little voice in my head that was chanting, "I am a new athlete. I am a new athlete" with every stroke. This new athlete was able to push and finish her first 150 yards without stopping. I stopped, let Coach Marsha know what had just happened. Every one cheered for me, then I cried. Cried cause I had just done something I HAD NEVER DONE in my entire life. Cried because I have lost 59 pounds, cried because I truly am a new athlete.

Our class goes from 530am-645am, but I wanted to finish the full set that was put out there as a challenge. I stayed and finished it all. It took me until 720, but I did it, so I am not fast by any means, but I stayed, persevered and finished. The old me, first of all, would have never signed up for a masters swim class. The old me, had she signed up, wouldn't have stayed past 645, shoot I might have even made up some excuse so I could leave early, but that was the old me, the woman I don't even know anymore and I never want to meet her again.

As I was leaving the locker room, I passed a mirror. I didn't even recognize myself. I had to do a double take. Then, what might have looked vain to others was this lady starring in the mirror at herself. I was starring at myself because I wanted to remember this moment, what I was wearing, how I felt. I just drank it all in. I was looking at a new athlete in that mirror. I was looking at a new life. I was looking at who I have become and remembering who I will NEVER be again.

Bob, thanks for suggesting to me to sign up for this master swim class. If you hadn't suggested it I would have never done it and I would not have had this break through today. I appreciate you more than you'll ever know.



Team Brazo said...

2050 yds is awesome! Great work.

Karie said...

Awesome! I love Masters. I started a few weeks ago. Your post reminded me to look forward to practice tonight. Thanks!