Friday, July 22, 2011

One Little Mistake

When I was at work Thursday morning, my friend/swim coach came in to get ready for her classes and the following conversation transpired:

Me: I think I figured out this morning what my problem has been through all of these triathlons.

Her: What?

Me: I suck at treading water.

You do?

Me: I realized that I panic when I have to tread because I can't.

Her: You shouldn't have a problem with that in a wetsuit.

Me: I didn't even give the wetsuit a chance to fail me.

Her: ... and you're too tall to work on that at this pool. (The deep end of the pool is only 5'7" and I'm 5'9". I can literally stand in the deep end and not drown.)

Me: So I work on it at the clubhouse and the lake but I can never get it right.

Her: ... and you sink.

Me: and I sink.

Her: That's pretty scary.

Me: 'Scary' is a good word.

Her: It's actually pretty terrifying.

Me: I wouldn't disagree with that assessment. There's nothing like flipping out four feet away from the side of a pool. I must have watched 10 "how-to" videos but I'm just not getting it. It's weird that I can swim all over the deep end and not worry about it unless I have to stop. Then I'm scrambling for the sides or shallows and just trying to talk myself down.

Her: So we'll work on that on Sunday.

I don't know why it took so long to put the pieces together. Perhaps it's because I know how to swim and just getting from one end of the pool to other is no big deal to me but it's one of those "must-have" skills that I don't have and it rears its ugly head in the mass starts of these triathlons with their urban "Stop and Go" traffic crushes.

Not being able to tread water is like not being able to unclip at a stoplight or going hiking in Alaska with a camera, bug spray, and zero knowledge of how to handle the encounter you're having with that Grizzly bear 100 feet away from you. These are things that need to be figured out before-hand and I didn't do it.

We may think we're planning for every contingency but planning and reality will clash in the most unpredictable ways. You can see this in every pro sports team when they get to the highest levels - when matching skill-set to skill-set, weaknesses are exacerbated and exploited. No one is immune. Some are just more well-rounded than others.

This is one jagged edge that I have to smooth out soon.

1 comment:

  1. I am not sure I understand the Intricacies of the swimming part. My friends just talk about getting kicked or jabbed.

    But it sounds as if you have the problems identified and working on them. Good luck.