“Look, Mom! I’m swimming!”

Okay, first of all, it’s like actually 100+ degrees today with the heat index. I originally had plans to run 3 miles outside today, which is what the half-marathon plan calls for today. Within seconds of walking to my 9am class, I realized that my run would NOT be happening outside. As the day went on, my body kept telling me that it was tired. I could feel it, literally from my head (migraine!) to my feet (lower body is sore!)

Tomorrow was supposed to be my rest day, but I think I’m just going to switch it up. Last night, I had an intense workout. It was absolutely amazing- full of man-like grunts (I think I subconsciously turn my music up loud enough so I can’t hear myself breath when I lift) and sweat. And before I knew it, I was at the gym for 2 hours and counting.

I have a new lifting plan going on and it’s glorrrrious!  I think I’m going to type it into an excel file and post it on here- just for fun.

Tuesday night, I hit up the pool with Yessenia and Laura. Laura was a beast in the pool and lapped me at least a million times. Yessenia was more on my level but much quicker than me and still managed to make me look like a little girl. But you know what? I did it. I freakin’ did it. I swam one lap, then two, then three….and just before we thought we were going to get out of the pool, we decided to swim another 100m.

Before I left my apartment to head to the pool, I was nervous. What the hell am I doing? Okay, FIRST OF ALL, I do not look good in a one piece. Actually, bathing suits and I IN GENERAL don’t usually get along, regardless of how many pieces it consists of.  But I put that damn suit on (after staring it down and pacing around it like I was in an Old Western shoot out), met up with my swim buddies, walked to the pool, and got in.

I know how to swim, it’s not like I was actually in danger of drowning, but it was the unfamiliarity that brought me so much anxiety. Being with people that I know (and that both were confident in what they were doing) made it a lot easier for me, too. Once I pushed off that wall and started flailing  free-styling my way down the lane, I felt better. Once I realized that I WAS ACTUALLY MOVING CLOSER TO THE OTHER END OF THE POOL (this was a serious doubt in my mind at one point) I felt GREAT. If my mom was there, I probably would have shouted “look, Mom!!!!!!! I’m swimming!!!!”

I struggled with it, though. Halfway down the lane, I would get out of breath. My goal for the next lap would be to get at least one inch farther without having to switch to breast stroke. But I didn’t stop- I didn’t give up half way through.

I told Yessenia about how, I personally, think it’s crazy that the way I felt about swimming laps is the way other people feel about the gym in general. But the thought had never occurred to me. In fact, I had never had that type of fear or anxiety before when it came to anything fitness related. Put me in a leotard in front of judges with my butt (literally) hanging out, and ask me to flip around on a mat for 2 minutes? Fine. Swimming laps? (butt still hanging out) No thanks.

But going to swim and having that apprehension taught me a lot.
For myself, personally, it taught me that I can do it. I just need to shut up and do it, and it will be done.

But I now have a new found sympathy for people who are new to the gym or to fitness-type things in general. I had never experience the feeling of being so uncomfortable in a fitness setting before, so I can relate now to people who go to the gym and have horrible experiences and vow to never go back.
However, I’m also motivated now, more than ever, to encourage people to step out of those comfort zones and step into the unknown realm of whatever it may be- whether it’s swimming, running, biking, or weights. I think that if you go to the gym with someone who knows what they’re doing (like actually knows what they’re doing– but that’s a different post), someone who is more than willing to walk you through everything and encourage you, that you will leave the gym feeling invigorated and itching to go back for more.


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