I did something I haven’t done since 2006 this week. No, I didn’t do a triathlon, the photo above was the only swimming picture of me I could find in my vast online photo collection. I swam with an organized Masters swim team! I was so nervous. I almost chickened out. I ordered a new swim suit online last week and was hoping that it would show up in time for my first practice. My old suit was wearing thin in the butt and I didn’t want to show up on my first day flashing everyone. It showed up the afternoon before my practice and I tried it on. It fit but it was SO TIGHT. It was going to have to do and so off I went to the pool, straps cutting into my shoulders the whole way.
I think part of my nervousness was coming from not knowing what the other swimmers and coach would be like. My last Masters team was seriously hard core. People showed up 6 days a week and trained like they were still in college. It was a college-sponsored team so that makes sense. I was hugely relieved on Wednesday when the coach found me, sitting alone on the bleachers, nervously adjusting my cap, and was immediately nice to me.
Coach checked in with me about my past experience and goals and put me in the slow lane. It’s really impossible to tell how fast a recreational swimmer is by looking at their body. Swimming has so much to do with technique that body size/shape doesn’t play in as much. Usually you start in the slow lane and work your way up. It was after about five minutes that she moved me to the medium lane. The two swimmers in the medium lane swim with the team quite often and have been for awhile. I had a hard time keeping up but nobody lapped me. Both of my fellow swimmers were really nice and welcoming. I was extremely impressed with myself and the team. I have no idea what lane I’ll be in during our next practice because people (who are likely faster than me) were absent and the lanes are often adjusted.
I’m going to try out the team one more time on Monday to be sure it’s for me and then I’ll pay the $60 for twice weekly practices for a month. I wasn’t so sure until she started asking me about my interest in competing, then my fins perked up. Although competitions like triathlons and swim meets make me shake with a nervousness that turns my stomach, I do love to compete. I am competitive. Especially when placed with other swimmers who are close to my pace. She mentioned a few low key swim meets and outdoor long distance races this summer. Sign me up!