Whenever I try a new exercise, I want to do it well.
I want to do it competitively, and I want to constantly improve.
When I started swimming about six weeks ago, I didn’t expect to immediately be able to swim laps for an hour straight. Sure, I wanted to. But I knew that it would take some time.
I swam regularly when I was growing up. I was a summer baby who loved the water and found the repetitive motions of swimming relaxing. I even taught swim at a day camp when I was a teenager.
Eventually, though, swimming fell out of my fitness (or social) routine. And I am not even sure that I would have taken it up again, but for my injury.
The truth is, that if I wasn’t a runner, perhaps I would have been more frustrated with the process of beginning swimming again.
I have been a runner on and off for the past 16 years. Each time I stopped for an extended period of time and then began again, I really did have to start from square one. By “square one” I mean, run one block then walk one block. Fortunately, I have been able to get right back in to running following my recent injury. I guess that two months off isn’t quite so long.
My point is that I didn’t expect to get in to the pool and pick up where I had left off years ago. I knew that being able to swim laps would take time and patience and practice.
At first, I could only swim one length of the pool before stopping to gasp for air. But I would allow myself to catch my breath and then resume swimming and attempt another lap.
In time I have gotten to this very good place with my swimming, and I know that I will continue to improve.
Now I can handle 30 minutes of breaststroke laps without a break and about 20 minutes freestyle.
That’s pretty good.
I want to get a better handle on the distance I can cover and then start drilling myself for speed a bit. I would like to try racing in the pool, as well.
Getting better takes time.
If an athletic pursuit — or anything — is important to you, put the time in. With patience comes great rewards.