The last time that I went to a Masters swim practice was two years ago when I got into a verbal altercation with some asshat who yelled at me for pulling on a lane line. My old gym had a masters level swim practice daily, and while most Masters teams are pretty laid back with many different levels of swimmers, this one was hard core. And fast. And mean.
They had no problem running over a newbie who was having trouble keeping up. And there was no slow lane. So, when we did backstroke, I grabbed the lane line to help me move along more quickly. This doesn't cause any harm to the lane line, and trust me, I know how to break them. Having a group of high school students sit on them is usually the best way. Pulling on it with one arm, not so much.
This wasn't the place for me. I'm not serious, and they clearly were.
Before that... I have no idea when my last coached practice was. College?!?!
So, I was a little intimidated to be heading to a swim practice at a facility I had never been to before. They have a reputation for being accommodating and helpful to newbies and people who haven't swam in ages, but they are one of the largest masters clubs in Northern California, running 6 coached workouts a day.
My sister, Bug's Auntie KIA , and her husband have been going to practices there because the main pool is down the street from their house. Auntie KIA encouraged me to attend, promising that there really were people of all ability levels. Of course, the perception of speed is often subjective. She was one of the fastest girls on the team in high school, and her husband's brother swam against Michael Phelps in a prelim for Olympic Trials a few years back. They are tall and skinny and lanky and fast.
Me, not so much.
But the only way to get better is to practice. And I do want to get faster, and I do enjoy swimming. And they offered to babysit. I'm not completely inexperienced, so it couldn't be that bad, right?!?
To begin, the weather was TERRIBLE! It was 45º, windy and pouring rain. The rain, I don't mind so much. You're already wet. But the cold, I mind A LOT. Here in California, they don't make indoor pools and think that you can swim outside in any weather. The worst was swimming in the hail my Junior year of high school. Not only was it miserably cold, but I had huge welts all over my body from the quarter sized balls of hail that poured down onto me.
I am not that young and ambitious anymore.
I wore my new bathing suit to my first day of practice. I'd been putting off my return to the pool because I didn't have a suit that didn't have a hole in it. So, I ordered one online. It was a great deal... $25 for a reversible speedo suit. Looks harmless, right?!?!
The straps are thin, and that's not a bad thing. It would save me from dealing with tan lines later in the year.
But I didn't bother looking at the picture of the back of the suit.
Holy back fat and side boob, Batman. This picture doesn't even begin to show how little suit their actually is. Did I mention I just had a baby? And I'm tipping the scales at just over 200 pounds.
Too bad for everyone that had to look at me. Because I am much more cheap than modest. And this suit was a final sale. So..... yeah. Just be glad you didn't have to be there.
Stop laughing, it gets worse.
Lucky me, it was IM (Individual Medley) day at the pool. So our workout consisted of 200's of a stroke other than freestyle. I have a shoulder injury that prevents me from doing butterfly (THANK GOD!) I can do breaststroke, but I often have the sensation of traveling backwards when I do because everyone else will fly by me so quickly. So that leave backstroke.
Because it was pouring rain, it felt like this.
|Do you find it as disturbing as I do that I was able to find waterboarding clip art?|
And I must have been making some pretty nasty choking noises because the coach came over and told me it was fine if I wanted to do freestyle.
So, I did.
I was left with my thoughts. Swimming isn't the most mentally stimulating sport, and my mind tends to wander. I thought about a nice hot shower, what we'd be eating for dinner, and what Bug was doing. Bad idea. When I'm not with Bug, my boobs start getting hard and leaky. I was very thankful that I was in a pool where no one would know that my boobs were leaking.
I didn't die, and I did manage to get in a 1,500 yard swim before I scurried out of the pool at the end of practice (both to hide my fat and to rush back to Bug).
Now, the real challenge is convincing myself to go back.