Monday, August 23, 2010

I'll Call it...Tressa Breast-Style!

Too bold! Oh, wait...what do you think I'm talking about? I'm referring to the new swim style I invented, you all need to cool your dirty minds!

Whilst on vacation at the lake, Coach and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get in some swimming since he had done very little and I had done zippo.  He was very good about swimming every day, trying to get in at least 700 meters. Jesse was brave, got out there first thing (8:30) in the morning and swam about 900 meters (a super guesstimate) on the first day, but I needed to wait until the sun was more awake and Coach could give me some advice. I won't pretend I wasn't nervous, mostly about wearing the goofy getup...

Probably THE most embarrassing pic I have ever posted!
but also about the actual swimming. The water and I have been friends since childhood and I can tread water for days, but no actual lap swimming is in my repertoire. Even everything I learned at swim lessons has long ago left my brain. My biggest problem is my bad shoulder. Basically, I have bad rotator cuffs, nothing can be done to fix them except not using them. Since that isn't an option I try to keep movements that really put my arm in pain and then cause it to go dead to a minimum. The freestyle stroke would be one such activity. Of course, this is the fastest stroke! What am I gonna do, put on water wings and hope for the best? Well, it seems some people don't recommend that, so I got in the water and just started trying things out. Normally when swimming I use the breaststroke, so I gave this a go first. It worked ok, but when I tried to go really hard, my arms got super tired because they are such weak little chicken wings. Then I did give freestyle a try, but I just couldn't do it smoothly and I need a stroke where I use my legs more than my arms. Another big fail on my part is I HATE putting my face in the water because I am claustrophobic.

But, just as I was getting super discouraged that I wouldn't be able to swim without actually having to doggy paddle, the heavens parted and I was struck with divine inspiration. Why not use the freestyle crawl stroke focusing more on my left side, but combine it with the breaststroke frog leg kick so I don't have to use my arms as much? Brilliant! I tried it out for a 100 meters or so and it felt pretty good, still kept my head out of the water, but I was surprised how naturally it was flowing. Man was I gonna look a fool at the race, but my options were becoming limited. Jesse tried it, but couldn't hack it. WARNING, this stroke is not for everyone, only the tough can survive it. On the third day, I really decided to test it out and swam for 300 meters straight (pretty huge for me since I haven't swam that distance, ever) and only had to breast stroke for a little bit in the middle.  My little Nemo lucky fin did start to really hurt so after a 100-150 meters I couldn't really pull that shoulder out of the water anymore but I tried to still pull with it under the water.

I know that is coach swimming not me, but there were no pics of me and he just looks so good swimming, and he did way more of it than me!
Who knows if I will get anymore swim time, but I probably (definitely) need it. If not, I do feel comfortable enough now to know I won't drown, I will be kicking a lot of people, but I won't drown. As long as I don't get to scared by the grindylows I should be ok, I just hate not knowing what is beneath me in the water!

Oh and don't forget to check out our first giveaway sponsored by CSN here!


Diana Tries-A-Tri! said...

1. Everyone looks crazy in the swim getup, but when you're surrounded by hundreds of people all looking the same amount of crazy, it's sorta fun
2. Inventing your own stroke!? Awesome!
3. Harry Potter reference!?!?! Lovin it.

Megan said...

I have a fear of whats underneath the water too. I swear I halucinate when my head is in the water cause I think I see crazy stuff. I REALLY hate lake plants, like A LOT. I'm not sure why, its not like they can attack me...or can they? : )

Great job on improvising your own stroke. Whatever works - different strokes for different folks, right?

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

Good job with your swimming! I think it's great that you're out there trying to make it work! Some people would just give up, but you're doing it! Yay!

Cynthia O'H said...

Side stroke is a good option for you too. It will let you see in front and to the side, and it will let your arm rest. You may not be able to try it soon but, when you have a chance, give it a shot.

Good job sticking with it.