My first Sprint Triathlon – part 1

First: put your head under water

I found this race online, while browsing for trail races I could take part in this summer. I’ve been thinking about doing a sprint triathlon for the past few years, ever since a friend who had just given birth to twins and who had to stay in bed for the last 5 months of her pregnancy told me she was going to do a sprint triathlon. When she finished her race, I called her and she sheepishly told me she had finished second to last. I was awed in admiration. Over the years, the idea germinated from “if she can do it, I have no excuse” to “this looks like fun”, so I decided to do it this year.

First thing first, I rallied a colleague who I know is a good swimmer and asked her to show me how to swim.

Yup, you read that right. I don’t know how to swim.

My last swimming lessons go back 30 years.I had a deal with my parents: when I crossed the seven black bars at the bottom of the pool, I would collect seven chocolate bars and be given the option to quit. I ate my seven chocolate bars and hung my bathing suit to dry.

I know I can “swim” the triathlon distance: 300m, almost every one can do that. But in a lake, with hundreds of flapping legs and arms? I know I need to train and learn proper technique. Starting with putting my head under water.

So last week, my colleague brought me to this gigantic olympian-sized university pool, handed me a floating board and told me to dunk my head under the water. I can’t say fear paralyzed me but I definitely giggled and blew my air out like a whale to calm down. It’s as if I were 10 years old again and finishing my swimming lessons.

After a few length, repeating endlessly my “I can do this, I can do this, I can do this” mantra, I did. OMG I did! I put my head under water and coordinated my arm movements with my breathing.

Now, I can’t wait to go back to do this again without a floating board!

Learning to swim Credits: dad (1987)

Learning to swim
Credits: dad (1987)


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