I’ve dreamed about becoming a triathlete for years.
I’ve been a runner since I was 11. In 2012, I picked up cycling, and I’ve come to really love it. So the big piece was swimming.
A few weeks ago, I decided I will compete in a half ironman next year (More on that here). But basically aside from knowing how to not drown, my freestyle (or any other stroke) experience is zero.
Through the advice of a triathlete colleague and friend, I found a masters swim session in Ann Arbor.
Tonight was my first time going.
And (spoiler alert), you guys, it was awesome.
Before the swim, I admit, I was nervous. Here I am at age 28 taking up something entirely new. Let’s be real: it’s hard to try something new when you have no idea if you’ll be any good at it or not. Starting something new takes courage, and that’s how I buoyed (pun intended) myself up beforehand.
As expected, my fellow swimmers and coach were friendly and welcoming. Thankfully, there were only three of us in the slow lane, and I never felt like I was in anyone’s way.
The best part?
I swam 800 meters, which is farther than I imagined I’d be able to go on day one. This was not a fluid, pretty swim. I stopped a lot, spluttering when I focused too much on any one thing. But still, I did it.
I ignored the workout and focused on swimming 50 meters at a time. The coach told me he never would have thought I’d never done any swimming before, which was great to hear.
Throughout the session, I focused on breathing, following all the way through on each stroke and keeping my hips up. There’s so much more work to do, but what was most important to me is that I had a lot of fun.
We can take our training and racing seriously, but what’s the point if we’re not having any fun?
This is an awesome start. My newest goal is to compete in a sprint triathlon by the end of the summer. Right now, I’ve got my eyes set on a race in August where I’ve competed in the duathlon twice before. We’ll see how it goes.
Until then, you can find me at the masters swim twice a week and then out at local lakes doing some open water swimming, having a blast.