Monday, December 10, 2012


I have not been the best at staying committed  to my off-season triathlon plan, but I am working to change that. The Masters swim team that I belong to requires us to attend at least 2 swim sessions per month. I was so burned out from this triathlon season, that it's been a challenge to make it to the pool that frequently. I am actually honored to be a part of this team and would hate to get kicked off, so I have been trying to be better about making it to practice. Also, the USAT Club Challenge is ongoing and Tri Unify has a team of 13, so I am trying to do my part and get in some swim miles to put up on the board this month.

On Saturdays, the team practices in the 50 meter lanes. We are reduced to only 4 lanes and this makes it more of a challenge for the slower swimmers. This past Saturday, I showed up and noticed that there were a few people that were waaaaayyyy faster than me in the "slow lane". I realized that it was probably because the other lanes were just too crowded, but I got nervous. My paranoia for being "the slow girl that swims like the water is molasses and slows everyone down" started to creep in immediately. Everyone in the club has always been very nice and welcoming. I realize that my discomfort with my speed and ability has caused me to shy away from most of the faster swimmers. Sometimes I even get in a lane all by myself while swimming at another pool with this team. I know that when it comes to this swim team, what I think about myself probably has caused me to come across as anti social or unfriendly, but the truth is that I really am  just intimidated and not comfortable with my speed.

The swim coach on Saturday is usually in the slower lanes, so I was happy that she was coaching... until I found out that we were working on pacing. UGH! I got in the lane last, behind the old guy that told me that I was too slow when I first started. But the first person in the lane repeatedly caught up with me and swam past me. I noticed that I was swimming every other lap, as I had to wait until all of the faster swimmers went on to another lap, while I was just trying to  finish my first one. I got discouraged really quickly and contemplated leaving the pool after only 10 minutes of swimming. My thought was that I was just too slow to swim with the team on Saturdays when we have fewer lanes and that I would just come back on Tuesday. I was cool with that. I know that I am slow and these things happen... well that is what I told myself to feel better with my decision to quit swimming on Saturday.

When I went to climb out of the lane, I remembered that I had brought my fins! I remembered Lisa saying that her fins made her faster. So, I thought that I would give the fins a tri for just one more lap and see if I could keep up with the swimmers in my lane. This was my last ditch effort before calling it quits.Not only was I able to keep up, but before long, 3 people were in the lane BEHIND ME (including the old guy!). I was pumped! I was okay with the fact that I need a swim crutch  fins in order to keep up. I was ecstatic that I was not getting lapped in the pool any more! I felt like I was finally a part of the team!! This lady asked why I was using fins and I told her that I was about to quit, until I realized that the fins helped me to go faster so I could keep up. I don't think she really understood how close I was to quitting and my delight to finally be able to keep up, as she proceeded to tell me that, "fins give you a false sense of confidence..." yadda yadda... She was probably right, but I needed to know that I could keep up. I needed something to help me to not be a quitter. I needed my fins on Saturday!

Even though I have completed 10 Triathlons, to include two Ironman 70.3 events, I still have doubts about my ability. There is always room for improvement. I am sharing this story for anyone that may be easily discouraged or for someone that may be quitting before they even tri. I just want folks to know that even those that have completed triathlons in the past have insecurities and moments when they want to quit. I guess the message is to never quit before you tri and sometimes you may need a "crutch" until you can keep up all on your own.

I can't wait to swim with my fins again next Saturday!!! I won't use them on Tuesday or Thursday, but on Saturday, they will be my treat!!

Tri Becca