Wednesday, 12 September 2012

We get better. Together.

I've been around a few days.  Recovery has taught me more than I can hope to retain.  I need to be regularly reminded.  What I know, and what I understand are two different things.  Knowledge alone isn't much use.  Wisdom is something else altogether.  If someone asked me what wisdom looked like, I wouldn't have a clue; but I know what it feels like.  Wisdom is practising the principles in all my affairs.
Including swimming.  Yesterday, I took the plunge and went along to a Club training session.  I dipped in to this a while ago, encouraged (indeed collected and taken to) by a friend whom has, I know, continued to attend.  Getting to the pool is something I needed to do for myself.  Whilst I have been happily doing my own thing, I have been itching to stretch myself, and step up to the challenge I knew a coach would present. 
It was touch and go.  As I stood on the side of a pool I've not been to before, I observed a Squad session and admired the exuberant energy the youngsters displayed.  I was in awe of their technical proficiency in all four strokes, and suddenly began to get cold (damp) feet.  If I ducked out now, no one would be any the wiser.  It's always hard turning up for the first time.  And yet this step is probably the most important.  The boys and girls emerged from the pool, each proudly sporting team kit, and matching hats.  I fumbled with my own, before taking a poolside shower, committing to whatever awaited me.
Along came Chris.  Self declared Iron Man.  South African (of course) and very interested to discover my interest in open water swimming.  He enquired as to the distances I'd swum, before announcing his own 4k feats of endurance.  My heart sank somewhat.  Particularly when he told me that the Tuesday session was as strongly focused on breast stroke as it is crawl.  I couldn't remember when I last impersonated a frog. 
It was time.  At half past eight, I went to introduce myself as the new girl.  It was suggested that I try the middle lane.  It was tough from the off, but I adjusted to the pace, and sustained it throughout the 60 minute session comprising a rigorous warm up, several set pieces and then a much welcome cool down.  My watch gave up before the session was up, but I reckon we did at least 2.5k in around 52 minutes.  My fellow lane dwellers were an able bunch who kept me on my toes (or whatever the aquatic equivalent might be), and above all made me feel very welcome.  I felt at home, and have resolved to return.  Together, we get better.    

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