About 2 years ago I actually entertained the idea of doing a triathlon…the combination of swimming, biking and running. I’m good with the running part and the biking I could get by with some practice, but the swimming component of the triathlon totally eludes me.
Now I have no real ability to swim and the love of water just doesn’t exist for me, not to mention that I absolutely hate the idea of swimming back and forth in a pool. And at the triathlon I would actually have to get into a lake or reservoir or river to swim with tons of other people all going in the same direction AT THE SAME TIME! I remember hearing about a man who got into the water during the Trenton triathlon a couple years ago and never came out! I am not a swimmer, never have been although I did take some swim lessons when I was in the third grade. In high school I got a doctor’s note exempting me from class stating that I was not medically cleared to take the required swim class. But despite all my apprehensions about swimming, I decided to think about doing a triathlon. I looked for the races with the absolute shortest swim distance and I found a few with a 400 meter swim…still too long for my taste, but my hope was that with enough practice I would be able to accomplish the swim in a reasonable amount of time without drowning.
So my plan was to go to the pool at the “YMCA” and practice while my son was in his swim class. I spoke to the folks at the “Y” and told them about what I wanted to do. They suggested that I start by having the instructor of the “Masters” swim class evaluate my abilities. So there I was, at the “Masters” class, watching all these women swim so effortlessly up and back, up and back in the pool. I was standing next to the instructor when she said to me…”What do you think you can do?”
I just looked at her…“I have no idea.” I replied, hoping that I could actually swim further than I was giving myself credit for.
So I slowly started my swim, thinking that a slow and steady pace would help me reserve my energy. But by the time I was mid-pool I was on my second stroke and was about to have a stroke! I could feel myself struggling to breathe let alone to keep moving. I’d stop, tread water, do the breast or back or side stroke, anything to just stay above the water!
A friend of mine was there that day with her two daughters, one daughter was in my son’s swim class and the other was her 14 year old who was sitting with her watching me as I attempted my swim. After my so called swim, as I did complete one lap in the pool without injury, I walked over to say hi to my friend and ask her how bad my swim looked to her. She grinned and then told me that at one point during my “swim/ordeal” her older daughter leaned over and quietly said… “Mom, it doesn’t look like she’s going to make it…I think Mrs. Curran is about to drown!”