Over the weekend with my companion Sue I was reviewing the things I was doing with swim class last week. Understand something: Sue is an excellent swim instructor. She’s also a most excellent girlfriend. But those two things are not necessarily things you want to mix in a relationship. Not at the basic level where I’ve been swimming anyway. Like playing tennis together, there is quite a bit of room for conflict if things don’t progress at the rate one mate expects of the other. By choice I’ve kind of absorbed what she has to offer and tried to implement it at my own pace, so to speak. There was just one problem: I’ve been trying to go too fast too soon. I kept getting fiercely out of breath. Yet I wasn’t out of hope.
So the unspoken agreement from my prospective has been simple. She whet my whistle for swimming. It was my job to use what she taught me in the early sessions we did together. Eventually I’d get good enough at swimming to join the Master’s Swim group at Marmion, a high school where they swim at 5:30 a.m.
But I’ll admit I’ve been a slow and intermittent student. Mostly it was a breathing issue. I knew there’d be a breakthrough at some point but somehow it kept escaping me.
Last week I joined a swim class with an instructor named Whitney who slowed me down. Her instruction helped me relax in the water. Lo and behold, I also had enough time to breathe. There are still plenty of things to learn, but hey I’ll take the progress it wrought.
Because today I was swimming 150s and 200s when formerly I could barely manage a 50. Seriously. There were times when even that was tough.
So I texted Sue because I know she knows how much I care about doing this the right way. Someday I’m going to be swimming 400s, 800s and more. But it all comes down to a moment in time when you go against all your intuitions and lose your inhibitions.
Today was one of those days. And I’m thankful. That’s all.