Monday, December 04, 2006


A while ago, Joe asked for a swimming post, and perhaps by now he has given up on me because I have not delivered.

Well, here is why.

This has been a strange re-thinking kind of semester for me (forgive me: we fessing types measure time that way), particularly in the world of swimming. For the last two years, I have been all about the goals: get a national cut, get prepared for nationals, race at nationals. This year, in part because of our move, and in part because I need to know that I am capable of dialing it back sometimes, I am swimming without a goal. Yes, I am swimming because it helps to keep me healthy, and because I enjoy it, and because it is fun to push myself, and because it keeps me from taking my colleagues' heads off in meetings (mostly). So I have reasons, but I am not seeking best times, or trying to perfect anything.

Which is good, because my training log does not look good. I tried to upload the Excel graph of my swimming yardage and time from the last three months, but could not, so let's just say there was a significant downward trend. Thanks to travel, fatigue, and the stupid pool being busted, my monthly average yardage for November was 8,950 where it was 13,300 in September.

Word problem: How will this affect Isis's performance at the meet this weekend?

This weekend is the St. Nicholas SCM Invitational, held in Marietta, Georgia. The last time we went to this meet I nearly lost my mind in the Friday-afternoon Atlanta traffic. Lucky for me, the PP has offered to do the city driving this time. (Word problem: Did the PP also almost lose his mind during that trip, thanks to my driving?)

I am scheduled for entirely too many events, but the one I am dreading the most is the 200 breaststroke. At this point, if you have followed my swimming posts, you are asking, "But why? You love to swim that event and you kick ass at it!" But friends, it is hard to do something poorly that you know you should do well, and that, I fear, is what might happen.

At practice on Saturday, after a week-long closure of our pool (I did get in a short solo swim at my old pool), I felt as though I had forgotten how to swim. Where do I put my hands? How do I get any power from my pull? Why am I so tired? What is this strange thing they call the backstroke? I turned to the PP at one point and asked what I was doing swimming a meet next weekend. He pointed out that probably everyone on our team feels that way.

That was a good thing for me to think about, which I did for the remainder of that set of 200s. Now my plan is to go to the meet and just have a good time. I do not have to have a best time everytime I swim. Hey wait, wasn't that the plan for this season anyway?


Joe said...

> But friends, it is hard to do something poorly
> that you know you should do well


> Now my plan is to go to the meet and just have a good time.

Often, one can surprise oneself and achieve a PR under these circumstances. I did just that on Saturday.

Keep your chin up (figuratively speaking of wouldn't want to do that while swimming freestyle) and just try to have fun. You might surprise yourself. Good luck in the meet.

Who knows, one unexpected triumph might lead to a whole new attitude about the rest of the season.

mateen said...

Yo, Isis, do I not detect a serious contradiction in this post? Doing it for fun vs. worrying about performance. Hmm.