So, as a mid-life crisis which I’m having three quarters of the way through my life (given that my family members have tended to conk out at 60), I’ve decided to do a triathlon. I mean, I’ve done a couple of 5K races last year and didn’t wholly embarrass myself (especially for someone who does not like to run). So I decided to amp it up and do three things that I do not like to do consecutively.
The YMCA of which I am a member has an annual indoor triathlon, which is a timed event instead of a true distance triathlon. That means you get to swim the pool for 15 minutes, ride a spin bike for 20 minutes, and run on a treadmill for 20 minutes, and ranking is based on how far you go.
Now, as the 5Ks have proven, I can run a distance, and I can not fall off of a spin bike with the best of them, so I am set there.
But my swimming leaves a lot to be desired. Unlike many amateur athletes and suburban kids everywhere, I never had a formal lesson; for the most part, my swimming was all about learning to survive in my stepmother’s parents’ small swimming pool and to get from the bottom of the Hyde Park water slides to the ladder out of the pool. That is, I learned to drown very slowly.
Before the annual Y Not Tri, the YMCA offers a triathlon class where a trainer gives the class drills to improve their biking, running, and swimming. I enrolled in the class, and the class is weighted toward the swimming, as most of the classes include swim drills
The first couple of times I attended class, I did not set the world on fire. As a matter of fact, the coach asked me if I had a medical condition that made me lose my breath easily, as I was coming up for air often. As the class has progressed, he’s taken additional steps to help me along, putting me in the group of the slowest swimmers and giving me fins to wear to help me learn to do the scissors kick.
Of course, the coach and the class are very affirming and encouraging, but the fictional class I’m taking is very mean. I’ve used the following quips on my wife and on Facebook from time to time to illustrate my lack of proficiency in the pool:
Everyone in my swim class calls meme Bob. I keep trying to tell them my name is Brian, but it’s still Bob.
My nickname in swim class is Troll. Because I’m motoring, but I’m not going very fast.
They call me Corky at the YMCA. I’m not sure if it’s because I swim vertically or because I look like something out of a Chris Kattan Saturday Night Live skit.
I’m making some strides in swimming.
Which is not really what you want. Because it’s not running, it’s swimming.
But I should survive fifteen minutes in the pool, which is more than I thought I’d be able to do at the beginning of the class.
They call me “The Rock.” It must be because I resemble Dwayne Johnson when I take off my shirt.