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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Try-Athletes": Performance Anxiety

Back during our first week of Try... I NEVER EVER thought that I would think that I would actually miss not going to Spin or Swim. But lo & behold, it happened. Last week, I didn't get to go to 2 days because of Parent/Teacher Interviews and on Thursday, I think I might have just been lazy - I can't remember.

I didn't go on the weekend because I worked on the set with Jenny. And if I may say, the set for our show looks frigging fabulous, and by fabulous, I mean absolutely doodley fabulous. We are rocking the 80s hardcore.

I got home this evening and found that my swim suit ( I also say bathing suit and bathing cap, which makes me sound old-fashioned... Hello, the 50s called and want their vocab back!) was in the laundry and I had to wash it.

Just so you know, my tub/shower doubles as my laundry hamper because my three real hampers are usually full of clean clothes that are folded but not packed away. I can't leave dirty clothes hanging around because I have a monster bad dog, so I just throw all my used clothes into the tub. Harley is a 7lb dog but he is strong. He drags jeans and sweaters all over the house. When I take a shower, I throw it all on the floor, and then it all goes back into the tub when I am done. Yes, you needed to know this. The whole point of this was to tell you I had to look everywhere for my suit, and I found it in the tub. Great place for a swim suit.

Anyway, I thought I was going to have to take my wet swim suit down to the pool with me and put it on down there but I was able to get it into the dryer for a few minutes so that was a good thing... putting on a wet swim suit is not fun times.

So my first night back at Spin last night was fun, what with working my butt off on the bike, chatting with Nancy, trying to run, and Miguel singing to us, and then tonight with the girls at Swim: Lisa with her new goggles, me trying to keep the swim cap on, Jenny swimming like a shark, and getting the final tally of 35 LENGTHS swam before getting out of the pool.

When we got to the Special Lane, there were 2 people swimming and Alanna wasn't with us so we kind of stood there, looking stupid, asking each other what we should do. Alanna tells us, well kind of forces us, to just jump in because those people usually just leave once we do that. But we didn't have her there, and we don't want to be too rude. In our process of standing around, looking at the Triathletes and looking forlornly at our Special Lane, the dude swimmer asked if we were the TriClub and we brightened considerably at this question.

In fact, we were 'all teeth', as Michael would say. This took me a minute to figure out what he meant, so for all of you who are not from Nova Scotia, this meant that we smiled. Great Big Smiles. So we were 'all teeth'. HAHAHAHA love it. We told the dude swimmer, "Yeah, we're TryClub!" He didn't catch the 'y' difference, obviously, and he doesn't need to know that we are kind of like a sub-group of TriClub. We are the version you try out before you make the commitment to do the Triathlons because that crowd is seriously hardcore. They don't mess around. No being 'all teeth' for them; you have to be like the Terminator: all metal and red laser beam eyes.

So, we hopped into the pool and started swimming right away. I varied what I was doing as much as I could but it took me awhile to get a rhythm going. It's just that way with me. At least the rhythm happened before 8. I actually checked the time - it was 7:50. That's an improvement.

I realized early on that I don't like swimming in front of the lifeguards. I get performance anxiety. I feel like they are watching me swim because they want me to screw up so they have something to do, and therefore I feel like I am going to make more mistakes. Guaranteed, they have many people to watch and I am but just one of many and I should stop being so egocentric, but there it is.

While swimming, Jenny molested my entire leg at one point. She was swimming behind me and caught up to me because she is a shark and I am a goldfish - she swims all business and I swim all lackadaisical. When I was a kid, we used to swim in a body of water called 'The Gut' where there were eels and another called 'Salmon Pool' where there were (you guessed it) salmon... in one of these places, I was swimming and an eel or a fish slithered by my leg... that was what Jenny's hand felt like. *shudder*

Jenny also decided to show me and Lisa how to do an underwater somersault. She would whip her body around while Lisa and I would duck underwater to watch her. I looked around at one point and the other Triathletes were taking a break from swimming (from REAL swimming, I mean), and I think they were watching us while they were catching their breath, and here we were, trying to do somersaults in the water. This is why we are in TRY Club and they are in TRI Club.

Anyway, she kept flipping to one side because it is hard to flip over perfectly when you are holding your nose - you need both arms to do it perfectly. She told me to try it but I intended to go underwater and look at her. My arse just floats to the top. I can't really go underwater; I just float. I'm like a buoy.

And throughout all of this, the lifeguard is watching us, no doubt wondering if we are trying to drown ourselves on purpose. I wonder if he was hoping that we were so we would create work and excitement for him.

That day the girl busted the feet off of herself, all the lifeguards and EMTs and security guards in the place were there with her - they were pretty happy to be on duty. If you work hard to become a first responder, then obviously you want a chance to respond to something.

I do not WANT to be the one you are responding to.

But if I NEED responding, please respond. Thanks.

Eventually, I ended up putting on the flippers with the paddles and I was flying through the lane pretty quickly. I felt like a fish. However, I ended up getting cramps in both feet and that was rough going for awhile. I ended up smashing into Jenny a few times, though, with my usual "I couldn't stop!" attitude.

I like settling into the front crawl once I get my breathing under control. If I can lose myself into that, I'm good to do that for a good many lengths before I get too tired. But most times, I swim too slowly.

On the plus side, there was no developments underwater. There were some swim rings, etc., but no people or anything under there. 'Under The Sea' was quiet tonite.

The sun was setting as we began our swim, though, and it was quite beautiful to be swimming up the lane with the sun setting every time I came up to breathe. I wish that had lasted the entire time. It makes me look forward evem more to go swimming because light is going to last longer and longer which means sunsets will go later... and into our swim times. Nice.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Lisa has new goggles, and she now has some great speed going. She also really looks like an Avatar now because she is nearly 10 feet long (or so it seems to me and Jenny because we are so short) when she is horizontal in the water. Her usual true height of approximately 6' is markedly exaggerated when you see her swimming directly towards you and her arms are outstretched, which makes it a bit disconcerting, especially if you are in her pathway. She also bought a BLUE swim cap and black goggles which I just realized truly puts her into the costuming of an Avatar. Lisatar is here. L'avatar. L'avatar it is.

Jenny swam a hundred miles tonite, and I almost swam a kilometre, with 8 lengths done using flippers and paddles which make you go super fast but that works your arse and arms pretty good. In fact, the backs of my legs are feeling it now.

Last night and tonite, I have been checking myself out in the mirror. Don't tell me you don't do this. Don't even try to say you don't. At the every least don't lie to yourself.

So, what I noticed from the very beginning was that my clothes were fitting differently - tighter in some places, looser in others. In fact, we all noticed that in ourselves. Jenny noticed her body parts getting firmer. She noticed my face getting smaller. I got a haircut (which doesn't really have anything to do with exercising but some people have actually asked me, "Have you been working out or something?" AFTER I got the haircut - not kidding).

Also, it is very difficult to have funky coloured hair when you have to go in the swimming pool. Basically, I now have pink, purple, orange and brown hair with white tips. Just what I always wanted to be: an old rainbow brite. Excellent.

Since I was basically told I would die ASAP if I did not get on the exercise circuit, I have been keeping a very critical eye on my body. It is changing shape in various strange ways. My arms are slowly, and I do mean slowly, toning up. I can't even type the word s-l-o-w-l-y enough to make the point. But it is happening.

My legs are strangely becoming different. They are shaping up from the knee up. Weird. But it is happening, and that makes me very happy. I can stand and pedal on the bike for a much longer time, and in gear 10 or 11 now rather than gear 16 or 17, and this helps tighten your upper legs and arse, I believe. Whatever, I'm not complaining, just stating facts. The core stuff is becoming easier so that stuff must be working, too.

It's all good. We feel awesome. As I said, we miss being there when we can't get there and we never thought we would hear ourselves saying (or thinking!) that.

Back to Spin tomorrow.

Apparently it's Triathlon practice.

And that means: I'm hardcore on the bike.

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