I was walking down the beach yesterday up in Seattle at Lake Washington. I was following a few skinny ladies that seemed to be going my way. We were all heading to the open water swim clinic to prepare for our upcoming triathalons. I felt a little out of place. What am I doing with these slim triathalete women? What was a chubby woman like me really doing here? Why do I have to wear this tri suit that makes me look awful? Where are the the other chubby women? I hate when those negative thoughts come into my head! I banished them for the day. Who cares if I was fatter? I was trying to get thinner and fitter. I was so nervous though as I didn't know what to expect today and how I would perform. I was here to improve my swimming skills in open water and venture beyond the calm pool. It was a beautiful sunny day and I was trying to be open to the adventure, this learning experience.
When I looked around at the group that showed up they were mostly women in their 20's through 50's and mostly fit but a few heavier women too. I was happy that my friend was going to be there for some support and to quell her own nerves about swimming in the lake. At least it wasn't the open water and those kind of waves or salt water. We listened to the coaches give us advice on what we would learn that day and what they hope we would accomplish. We broke into beginner, intermediate and advanced groups. I thought, well, I guess I am intermediate as I am a pretty good swimmer. So we got in the water and swam in groups of 2's so the instructor could see our form. He said mine was good. I felt like we were racing against each other, already the competitive spirit coming into play. I was a little surprised as I don't really consider myself a competitive person. We learned to sight ahead to the buoys or flags that we were aiming for and worked on swim technique and watch the instructor for some tips on style of swim. At the end of the workout we got to swim a 300 yard course as fast as we could doing the crawl/stroke or whatever stroke you wanted. (I will need to swim 750 yards in the race.) We started out in a big group of 50 or 60 and I got the unfortunate place of being in the middle of the pack. I should have started at the back or the sides and I paid the price. I got kicked in the head, kicked in the shins and everywhere. I fell back and tried to find a place where I wouldn't get hammered. I did the crawl for a while but later became tired and did the side stroke and breast stroke. I was suprised how tired I was becoming as I was trying to move fast. In the pool I move pretty slow I guess.
I was having trouble with the goggles and they were fogging up but at least they weren't leaking. I had to stop several times to clear them of the fog as I couldn't see where I was heading to. I finally came around the final bend and headed into the beach. I had fought some icky green, slimy sludge for 1/2 the way and was happy to be in the deep water. I finally made it in and prob. about the middle of the pack for finishing. My friend was waiting and cheering me on the beach. This from a woman who was scared to swim in open water and said she is a beginner. I couldn't believe she beat me! Why did I care? I guess because this is the one sport that I would always excel at compared to her when we were kids. I couldn't help but feel like a slow slug. Who cares that she has been swimming for months at pool lessons? Who cared that I probably outweigh her by 70 pounds? I just felt disappointment. I suppose it is because she said she is a bad swimmer and I know she is way fast on the bike and can run the miles we need to run in the race. So it is a given she will beat me overall in the race. We have a complicated past, where she was always competitive with me and said how much better she was than me. (I think it is because she has 3 brothers!) We were on the tennis team together and she would remind me weekly how good she was. Why the heck am I thinking of this now? I asked her to do this race with me? This is the present and not the past, she is different than she was long ago. What is wrong with me? Am I mourning the younger, fitter, scuba lady I was before? The fitter, younger athlete I was in high school? What?
I have a long way to go on this weight loss journey and I can't expect myself to be fast in sports. It gave me the itch to be better. The longing to be at a lower weight so I can become really, really active at a higher level. I am active now but more at a grandma type level. Well, ok maybe I could beat a grandma on the bike but I go at a slower pace than some. We got to meet an awesome tri lady who is one of the coaches. She came by to talk as she knew my friend from the swim classes. She is thin, strong and positive. She probably doesn't know it but I want to be just like her. I want to do tri's at a whim and be able to perform well athletically. I want that thin, healthy body. I want that body confidence that she exudes. I want that tri tatoo that she has. I was suprised that I had these feelings. Not surprised that I want a body like hers but surprised that I want to be like her in that she was done with her swimming earlier and then was doing more tri training with someone and then running later. She had her numbers painted on her arm as she was doing the Seafair triathalon on Sunday (today). I want to be active like her not this chubby woman that I had let myself become. Maybe I am changing. Hmmmm.... Or maybe it's because I was in an active place with bikers, runners, swimmers all around. So many fit people in Seattle.
Well, that is the way I am feeling today and we will see what the future brings. I am excited for the race in August and I know I will finish it. Maybe not at a good time but I will finish. Maybe I'll do this tri every year for my friend Dawn to raise money for cancer. Maybe it will be other tri's. Maybe I'll use it as a tool to really improve myself. My body and my mind. I have a lot of work to do. I really, really need to work on jogging more as that is my weakest sport! I can't run the 3 miles yet but I guess I'll have to walk some if it comes to that.
Ok, this is going longer that I thought today. I am happy that I exercised 6 days a week this week!! I will try to take today off as we may go down by a lake and enjoy the day. I am unhappy that the scale is not reflecting all my hard sweat and working out this week. Maybe I shouldn't get on that scale every day as it must be fluid retention cause I haven't been drinking enough water. Maybe I'm eating way more than I think and am thinking of journaling it all down again though I hate to do that. I'm trying to stay positive and just appreciate how far I have come from a year ago. Trying to quit thinking of the negative. I know that positive thinking is one of the keys/secrets to getting this weight off. Why is it so hard some days?
I hope everyone out there is having a good weekend!