Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Tantrum and a Chance Meeting at the Pool

I had a fantastic run this morning, and was going to follow it up with a swim. I came in from the run, all hot and sweaty, did the battle to put on my swimsuit, rinsed the sweat and sunscreen off in the showers, and headed to the pool only to find just one lap lane that had two people in it, with three people waiting on deck!!

In the two lap lanes that should have been there, there was a prenatal class going on. It is basically six women in different states of with-child, bobbing up and down on a noodle in the deep end and talking about...well, who knows. Probably all of the girls they are having (more on this little bit of jealousy in another post!)

The entire other half of the pool had exactly 3 very large men floating in the deep end (I almost told them that they might have to actually do something to consider it exercise) and a mother and two kids playing like a little happy family in the shallow end.

Ughhh!!! Doesn't everyone know that my swim takes precedence over whatever it is that they are doing????? If you are not training, then get out of the pool!!

So what did I do, you ask? I put my goggles and cap down on the deck and marched my wet, sweaty self into the pool office and basically forced the aquatics director (who I know on a pretty friendly basis) to open another lap lane.

I must admit here that after all of this went down, I was a bit embarassed by my child-like behavior, and was infinitely glad that my children did not see that sometimes throwing a hissy fit does get results.

Anyway, as I was getting ready to hop in the newly-opened lane, I realized that the woman in the lane next to me was getting some coaching from another woman on the pool deck. The coach looked at me and said, "You are a triathlete." (My initial reaction was, wow, I must really look athletic or something!) I said, "Yes, I am. How did you know?" "Your thighs...and the muscles in your arms."

Hmmm...not really sure what to think about that. Did she add on the part about my arms because she realized she just told me I had fat legs??

I decided to not let my own insecurities project onto her comment which, hopefully, was meant as a compliment, and I began my swim.

After one lap she stops me and says, "Is swimming the worst of your three sports?"

Wow, this lady really says it like it is!!

"I'm pretty much equally bad at all three," I say.

She then went on to point out a weakness in my stroke (letting my elbows collapse down), and gave me a great tip to help them stay high. (For those of you interested, she told me to follow the black line with my hands as I pulled through, while thinking about not letting the elbow collapse in.) Then she said if I ever wanted a free lesson she would be willing to help me.

As I swam off, I was doubtful. Why would she want to give me a free lesson? I tried the tip, and it really worked. I noticed an immediate difference. I clicked off two 50s both in 45 seconds (which is fast for me.)

She told me it looked much better, and I told her I might just take her up on her offer.

After my swim was done, I asked her for her name and number, and it turns out she is Penny Dean, who held the world record for crossing the English Channel from 1978 until 1995, was inducted into the International Swimmer's Hall of Fame in 1996, head coach of the US National Long Distance team from 1984-1988, and college swim coach since 1979.

Yeah...I know!!! I'll let you know how it goes!!

1 comment :

Woo-hoo!! I want to hear from you!