Monday, March 30, 2009

Mind Reader

Sooo, I really like swimming, I really do. But there has always been something about it that makes it hard for me to get motivated to go to the pool. I always thought that it was because I hate being wet when I get out, or that I smell like chlorine all day, or that speedo's just aren't flattering on anyone, but no, that's not it. This guy has pinned the tail on the donkey and FINALLY verbalized why I 'don't like' swimming. He is a genius.

I have copied and pasted his blog entry below:

The Hardest Thing About Swimming (To Me…)
Posted by jeffthetriathlete on February 20, 2009

Some people have problems breathing. Some people can’t get their body level. Some people don’t have good hip rotation and it drags them down.

I’ve been swimming for about 20 years, so I’m well versed on how to swim. So those things don’t bug me.

But I do have my difficulties. In fact, I thought about it and narrowed it down to two things, specifically.

First, the tedium of swimming. When I’m out for a run, I just find my groove, and let my mind wander as the miles pass. With swimming, however, my head is constantly filled with the mundane. Stroke count. Lap count. Body positioning. Proper hand reentry. Counting my strokes before breathing. Focusing on full arm extensions… I really don’t get to shut off the brain and just swim.

Secondly, and assuredly the most difficult, is the number “1″. When you can’t turn off your brain, “1″ becomes an evil notion that wears on your psyche and encourages you to quit. When I’m swimming, nothing is worse than “1″.

What do I mean by “1″? When I swim, it’s typically about 3000 meters broken up into multiple sets. My main sets are 200-600 meters each. Nothing is more disheartening and demoralizing than starting a 600 (24 laps), pushing off that wall, and saying in my head, “1″ (and then subsequently repeating it in my head over and over as I swim the lap).

“1″ just gnaws at my brain and makes me doubt that I’ll make it all the way through a set. It’s like that pessimistic friend who tells you it can’t be done, and you want to proove him wrong, but he makes a good argument.

Not to be confused with “1 more”, which is probably one of the greater aspects of a swim set.

But in the end, I still love swimming… probably because I’m good at it. Which would explain why I hate cycling so much…

Yes my friends, that is it. That is why I whine about going to the pool. I can't believe it took me this long to figure it out. Maybe know that I know I can stop my whining and just start all my sets with '2' and save myself the mental torture and a lap or two. Ha.


Anonymous said...

i wish someone would just count the laps for me, and then tell me when I need to get out of the pool. Or if I could just put pennies on the edge of the pool to count the laps.... ~natalie

Anonymous said...

It's either that or all the technology you have now (to help make you forget about "1") weighing you down...

His other complaint is what I use to make the time pass. Focus on different aspects of technique and it makes the miles go by. Same thing with the bike and the run. Although then I forget if I am on lap 14 or 16 at some point. So I look at my watch and figure my pace and do some division in my head which takes up more time - and is hard to do at 5AM. Oh swimming. We really need some open water in Houston. Like Barton Springs but warmer. Much warmer.


Love and Puppies, Christy said...

Tommy got me a great lap counter for Christmas. It goes around my index fingers and I just tap it with my thumb. It's worth the makes '1' slightly less irritating.

ErinB said...

That's so funny b/c I feel the exact opposite.