Day 48 – Upstream Without a Paddle

Posted: February 28, 2012 in February
Tags: , , , ,

Well that was embarassing. I finally admitted to myself that all the fluting round by myself in the pool wasn’t really doing anything for me so I bit the bullet and went to Portlaoise for the club swim session. I’d been putting this off for some time, hoping that somehow my swimming would magically progress, so that when I went to my first session I wouldn’t look too much like a fish out of water (if you’ll pardon the water based pun).

At any of the club’s running sessions I’ve been to so far there’s been ten to twenty people there, so I was expecting similar numbers at the pool tonight. When I walked in to the leisure centre and asked at the desk whether there were specific lanes for the triathlon club only to be told that they had the entire pool booked out I suspected that might not be the case.

Walking into the packed changing room I recognised no one from any of the session’s I’d done so far, and I was loathe to spend too much time looking around at everyone as I didn’t want to be known as the new guy who’s always staring at everyone getting changed. When I did actually see one person I knew I asked him to point out either of the coaches and at least they were easy enough to spot as they were the only people there fully clothed. I walked out to the pool area to find them and if I thought the changing room was packed that was nothing compared to the pool itself. The lanes were full, with people packed in there and splashing around like Flipper in a tuna net and every single one of them looking at me, or so I thought, as I made my way over to introduce myself to the coaches. I haven’t felt so self conscious since I was thirteen years old and walking across an empty dance floor in Nijinsky’s to ask a girl out to dance to Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad*.

After introducing myself to the coaches (Mark and Elaine) and explaining just how bad a swimmer I am I was ushered towards the beginner’s lane, where it quickly became apparent that the coaches and my definition of ‘beginner’ differed somewhat. The two occupants of the lane were gliding up and down the pool, performing various drills, and after a couple of failed attempts it was patently clear to Mark that I was indeed a whole different category of beginner. Though I was really beginning to despair at this point all was not lost as Mark told me there was actually a separate session for proper beginners on a Wednesday evening, but seeing as I was in this class I might as well make the most of it. In order to do that we started right from the start – kick drills.

Although I struggled to make much in the way of forward progress Mark seemed to be of the opinion that I had the makings of quite a strong kick. Whether that was him just trying to massage my battered ego or being honest I’m not sure, and to tell you the truth at that point I didn’t care. It was a glimmer of hope that I could hold on to and I was going to hold on to it for dear life.



*One song that always guaranteed you the shift.


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