Fatigued Swimmer

Maru and I had our second swimming class today. I was determined to do better this week.

So I:

  • Had my alarm set earlier
  • Got hydrated
  • I packed my bag
  • I added minutes to my phone
  • I picked up my sister
  • I got us there early
  • I asked about drop-in rates at the center for my mom
  • I brought my goggles!

Everything was going great until I couldn’t straighten out of a front float. As a well rounded woman I have a lot of buoyancy and float quite easily. So floating in the water wasn’t the issue. When coming out of the front float my instructor asked us to lift our heads back and tuck our legs to our chest so our bodies would swing right side up so that we could stand. Easy right?

I tried again and again and again and again and again. I tried it with the wall, without the wall, tried to tuck my legs before lifting my head after lifting my head… Dave said that I was partially tucking my legs and then would stop and kept asking why I didn’t finish pulling them in. My response was they wouldn’t tuck. My legs and arms weren’t responding and were stiffening up and the weight wasn’t reallocating as it should. Sometimes I got my limbs to partially respond which the instructor would see and he kept saying that I was shaking my head like I was doing it wrong when I was doing it right. I know I was doing it wrong because I wasn’t able to replicate that fluke occurrence and I didn’t know what I did to make it happen in the first place. By the end I was seriously frustrated and exhausted and the instructor said that I can’t move on to the lap pool or to strokes until I master this. Bucket of cold water.

When I got out of the pool I was completely spent, could barely walk and had a cramp in my side that I hadn’t been fully aware of in the water due to my focus on trying to get it right.

Reflecting on this I should have trusted my instructor enough to understand that I was getting massively tired and I think we weren’t communicating effectively. I believe that my brain had also partially shut down. I know I can communicate better than what was happening today after all I coach 32 people at work for corn’s sake!

Reflecting even further I didn’t set myself up to win this morning which is probably why my body stopped responding to me. 

  • I got only 4-5 hours of sleep last night
  • I didn’t give myself time to eat or get caffeinated before class
  • I forgot to take my vitamins
  • I didn’t stretch or warm up before I starting swimming
  • I started panicking and trying harder because I don’t want to be held back (I want to get as much as possible out of these lessons!!!)

Although disappointing it is also an important lesson. I’m going to work on my core this week, get more sleep and I’m going to have a word with my instructor next Saturday. We’ll see who’s tucking then!

-Anna San



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