I realized the other day that I am just a few weeks away from my first triathlon of the year; time to really ramp up the training! It’s been such a busy year that I am feeling extremely unprepared right now and, despite my dreams to become a professional triathlete (I talked about it here), USAT has not come calling, so no professional trainer, no nutritionist, no masseuse, no sponsorship, no cleaning service, no full time cook, no nanny…(sorry, got carried away in my daydream!). Anyway, it’s all up to me to squeeze in training and workouts; something which is difficult with kids and a job. You need to be creative.
Most days I just work out first thing in the morning before anyone is awake; that way I am done and ready for the day before I even need to wake up the kids. It’s especially easy this time of year because it’s light outside so early. Most of my workouts can be done outside which is so much better than in the winter when I am stuck in the basement on my treadmill or trainer (torture!). My biggest issue, though, is swimming. I don’t like to swim! I don’t like it because it involves wearing a swim suit, cold water, and swimming in dark murky lakes or oceans. As a result, swimming easily gets pushed aside. But now I have no choice, the triathlon is coming up way too quickly to ignore the swimming any longer.
Luckily for me, my parents have a pool. My kids are fish! I am truly amazed at what good swimmers they are because they have spent every summer swimming in that pool. I mean my just-turned-4 year old can do a perfect dive into the deep end and swim the length of the pool back to the shallow end! They impress me to no end because when we are there my “swimming” involves the following: lay in a chair and read a book until I get too hot, get up and take a dip in the pool for 5 minutes careful not to get my hair wet, get out and lay on opposite side and continue to read, repeat every ten minutes. But now I actually have to swim!
So, I hop in the pool filled with kids wearing my oh so flattering (read the sarcasm in my voice) race outfit, complete with bathing cap and goggles, and begin to swim. Around and around in circles I swim, not touching sides to simulate an open water swim. At first they all stop and stare, wondering first why mommy looks so funny and then marveling at the fact that I am actually swimming! Then they get used to the idea, excited to have a new person in the pool, and resume what they were doing.
As I swim I am jumped upon and called out to “watch me”. I have kids swim next to me or attempt to grab my legs when I get close. They block my path in the shallow end so I have to swim around them and swim under me in the deep end. My nephew just stares, not sure what his crazy Aunt is doing! Still, around and around I swim, not wanting to stop. There are toys everywhere! Boats, floaties, a wind up fish that swims underwater and scares me numerous times, goggles, matchbox cars laying on the bottom; I’m in an obstacle course! And around and around I continue.
Then I realize that this pool and all of it’s occupants are really the perfect training partners! I am encouraged and talked to and definitely never bored during my swim. All of the movement creates waves like the waves that I will encounter in a lake and I just can’t beat the practice I am receiving from my “partners” jumping on me, swimming next to me, grabbing my legs, and yelling at me. It’s perfect training for the first leg of the triathlon when I am surrounded by swimmers who think nothing of swimming right over me! And all of those toys and floaties; think seaweed. I just hope the wind up fish isn’t practice for anything!!
I’ve come to enjoy my training time swimming in the pool filled with kids! We all spend time on a hot summer day doing something we enjoy and, every time I am kicked in the head, I just think, “yep, I have the perfect training partners”!