Swimming is a lot of work. Seriously.
I sprained my left arm last night and both of my legs were sore this morning from too much flutter kicking. After an exhausting swim class I thought, a triathlon may very well be too lofty a goal.
I am learning how to swim (again) at UCSF’s Bakar Fitness and Recreation Center in Mission Bay. The indoor pool is heated, the facilities are clean and the center is two blocks away from home, what do I have to lose? I originally signed up for a basic swim class but when I learned last night that it’s really designed for beginners I kicked it up a notch and decided to do the more advanced class. After all, I did take lessons before in my undergrad. It just wasn’t too successful.
The program runs for five weeks and we meet twice a week for a 45-minute lesson. I liked that the class is small, only three men and four women. And I also liked that the pool is only 4 feet deep at its deepest end. I can stand up if I need to anytime without worrying about treading the water.
On our first swim class, we practiced kicking. We started with flutter kicks and then learned the frustratingly complex breast stroke kicks. Kick and squeeze. Kick and squeeze, we were instructed. I was kicking and squeezing but I was not moving anywhere! I had to stand up, catch my breath and propel myself forward. I actually sprained my left arm last night because I clutched onto the kickboard like my life depended on it, like I was going to drown in a 4-foot deep pool. I was too tense. Jeff, our instructor, quickly pointed out that I should just relax. I should just relax my arms, my shoulders and my neck and focus on kicking. Clearly, relaxing is easier said than done. But I actually enjoyed the class even though it was so sapping. I’m looking forward to spending more time in the water. I just need to relax and have fun.
And by the way, I’m still not ruling out that triathlon.