I started swimming when I was about 7 and swam for most of my life until I was in my mid twenties. A shoulder surgery stopped me and I never quite got back in the pool on a regular basis. More surgeries and weight got in the way and made it easy to put swimming on the back burner. I taught water aerobics each summer, but that was a different kind of pool activity...not the lap swimming that I was used to.
West Sacramento has an amazing rec center and last night my girlfriend and I joined. When I woke up this morning I decided that I was going to take Leyton to daycare early and go swim. From the moment that decision was made my worry began. What if I couldn't swim well anymore. I'm much heavier than I was before. I've had shoulder surgery, knee surgery and a c section. I'm also 10 years older than I was back then.
I made myself a goal. I would go to the pool and try to swim 500 yards, twenty total laps. Shit, more worry set in though. What if I couldn't make it that far? What if I was too tired. I broke it down even more. I'd swim 500 yards and if I did stop for breaks it could be no more than every 4 laps and I HAD to do swim turns.
Seriously, I hadn't even gotten into the pool yet!
Once there I suited up, put my cap on, threw on my goggles and dove in.
It took me 4 arm strokes to realize how ridiculous I was. It took me 20 laps of breathing every four strokes and doing flip turns at each wall to realize...I still got it. It wasn't hard, I wasn't killing myself. I was in that pool swimming like my 140lb 20 something self. I got into my meditative state and just kept going. I was no longer the out of shape fat girl.
I did a total of 1500 yards today....my first days in years. I've never felt more proud and good about myself. I might feel old sometimes, I might be fat but I will always be able to swim. I just had to take a couple baby steps to realize that I don't need baby steps.
I can't wait to get back in that water.