I can’t swim

swim_DGWait, 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.

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11 Comments on “I can’t swim”

  1. jsysmans Says:

    You will do fine David. Swimming is not hard, it’s all in the mind, just like running and biking. And remember, you are wearing a wetsuit, it will give you more buoyancy, making it easier.

  2. Kamaraj Jawahar Says:

    David, All the best for your triathlon. Raj

  3. Jim Says:

    I`m reminded of an 8 yr old little girl who wanted to be on a swim team even though she was`nt a very good swimmer. She practiced for the first swim meet and then the big day arrived and because she was not very fast, she was entered in the last race of the meet which was 4 full laps, which is a challenge for any 8 yr old.When the others finished, this little 8 yr old still had 11/2 laps to go and even though she was urged to quit, she finished the race to a standing ovation from everyone watching.This grandfather along with others were shedding tears of joy. When she was asked why she finished, and she calmly said”Because I wanted to see if i could do it”.She did it because it was hard. Today she is a Pharmacist, happily married and expecting her first child. You will be successful because you look at a challenge as an opportunity!!.

  4. Sean Dyer Says:

    wtg David!

  5. Tanika Williams Says:

    An IronMan Triathlon?!?!?!?! Wow! No baby steps for you. . . EVER! Thats commendable. I too lack the skills that the Lord blessed AquaMan and others like him with. And I too have aspired to take on the challenge of a triathlon. I unfortunately gave in. But after reading your blog I am going to get back out there and do it. A sprint triathlong to start and then build my way up. So, thank you for reminding me that I am capable of doing anything that I put my mind to. I know you will be well prepared and become the IronMan we all know you were meant to be. Congrats and good luck!!!

    • davidgoad Says:

      Good for you Tanika! Go for it!
      Oh, and I am taking baby steps right now… especially in the pool 🙂

  6. Jeff G Says:

    Darn you little brother!
    Now I’m getting the “tri-trembles”!
    The nervous anticipation of actually considering doing one myself! The trouble is, my backyard pool is Lake Michigan. Well, you inspired me to run the marathon in 2011 in the face of daunting odds, so how can I not step outside my comfort zone and do a tri too.
    Stay tuned….


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