I can’t swim
Wait, let me rephrase that. I can’t swim… yet. I’m standing in the dark in a full wetsuit at 6:00am, staring down at my outdoor pool. It’s a chilly November morning and my bare toes are curled over the edge of the cold concrete. I’m shaking out my arms nervously and asking myself “Am I really doing this?” The answer comes as I plunge into the ice cold water.
Over the last 4 years, I have pushed myself to learn long distance running and cycling. Not long after I conquered “marathon” and “century,” my fearless fitness friends started to ask the big question. “So when are you going to do a triathlon?” I have held back because of what I am doing right now… flopping around trying to propel myself through the water.
I know the basics of swimming, or at least I thought I did. So right after buying a wetsuit, cap and goggles, I went in search of advice. My friend Sean loaned me a video training program that made a lot of sense. My son Evan (a competitive swimmer and lifeguard) gave me several excellent pointers. But knowing and doing are two different things. The mechanics of swimming are a lot harder than running and cycling for me.
However, just as I did in those other sports I am committed to learning, practicing and making the adjustments necessary to conquer this one. I have already visualized coming out of that Napa lake triumphantly after the 1.2 mile swim and smiling as I jump on my bike for the “easy” part of the Ironman 70.3.
If you’ve followed any of my previous adventures, you will know I’m not doing this because it is easy. I’m doing this because it’s hard. I want to explore exactly what I’m capable of. Is there something you’ve held back from trying because you’re not sure you can do it? There’s only one way to find out.