Since the race, some of you have asked what might be my next steps. Well, I know I want to run the half marathon again next November. And in 2012, I want to do a triathlon.
The triathlon is a HUGE goal. Mainly because I can hardly swim or bike.
When I was young, I had an accident in the pool that left me scared of deep water. Actually it was a phobic fear of deep water. As such, even though I loved water and playing in pools, I never learned to swim.
This changed when I went on my first cruise in my early thirties. My friends all went snorkeling at a beautiful Carribean island. I put on my life jacket and snorkel mask and waded into the ocean with them. And had an anxiety attack the moment I got to 4 1/2 feet of water. My friends all swam away from me while I was stuck, frozen in fear.
I came back from that trip pissed at myself. I immediately found a swim class for adults who had water fears. That class was fantastic. The folks in the class with me were all terrified of different things. Some people couldn't put their face in the water. Some couldn't let go of the side of the pool. Some were afraid of deep water like me. Our patient coach got us all swimming by the end of class but mostly we simply learned how to move in the water (front crawl and backstroke) rather than really learn great swimming form.
Freeing yourself of a deep fear is very liberating. I started lap swimming at my local gym that year. And the next summer, I took another cruise with my friends and went snorkeling in the ocean.
But that fear remains. I always have to breathe through it when I first get in the water. The more I swim, the easier it gets. But the anxiety is always there. I've started lap swimming again. But I kind of suck at it. I can only front crawl one lap. Then I backstroke one lap. (I love the backstroke; it's my favorite way to swim). I can do this combo for over 45 minutes. But when I try to crawl more than one lap, I freak out a bit.
Luckily, my sweet wife has granted me some swim lessons as a Christmas gift. I'll meet one-on-one with a coach who will help me work on proper form and teach me how to really swim. I want to learn to swim properly. I want that base of knowledge. I want to learn how to do a lap-swimmers flip. I want to be able to crawl 2 laps, then 4 and so on until I can crawl a mile. Then I want to learn to swim in the ocean.
A very tall order indeed!
This is a picture from April 2006. This is when I FIRST learned to bike. I never learned as a child. Instead, Karen taught me. And for a few months, I actually cycled a little bit. There was a fantastic biking trail close to our house where we would bike together.
My most memorable moment was trying to cross a bridge. Now mind you, this bridge was on the biking path and was at least 9 feet wide. Just looking at it made me freak out. I crashed right into the side of the bridge. Fortunately I was going at a snail's pace and didn't hurt myself too much. I have to say that any time I went biking, I felt like a complete idiot.
A few months after I learned to ride, I got pregnant. And I haven't really been on the bike since. Our one trip biking to the ocean made me sweat buckets.
So as you can imagine, I have a long way to go. First I need to learn to bike without screaming and coming to a grinding halt when a car passes me. I need to learn to gain lots and lots of confidence because right now I feel like a complete spaz. I need to learn to bike on a sidewalk and in the road. Then I'll need to learn to bike some distance. And then some speed. And learn to bike with others. At some point, I'll probably have to get a faster bike than my little granny bike.
I have a long, long way to go.
John Bingham wrote:
However fit you are today, a year from now you will be either more or less fit. The choice is up to you. and
As I set new goals, conquered new fears and overcame new doubts, I became a new person.
So, a triathlon in 2012!