Fall is fast approaching and I find myself contemplating the winter triathlon program with TriStars with a mix of emotions. I’ve been a runner for many years now, so I look forward to the running group and running clinics the group holds. The biking portion has been hit and miss, I am still on a hybrid bike (NOT a road bike) so I often feel much slower than the others. Then there is the swimming portion.
That deserves it’s own paragraph.
I’ve had a life long fear of swimming in open water, when I started triathlon training early this year I thought the pool swim would be a simple way to get over my fear. That was not the case! Swimming in general causes a whole bunch of mixed emotions, most of which center around fear. But, as I find fall coming and pools swims starting soon I find myself looking forward to it. The fear is still very much there, my stomach clenches when I even think about swimming in a busy pool. Swimming I’ve come to realize though is very good for my mental fitness, probably better for me than the physical benefits. My swim sessions last approximately an hour. An hour is a LONG time to maintain any kind of composure when feeling panicked. Swimming has forced me to keep my thoughts under control for longer periods of time, squelching the voice that screams “GET OUT of the water, you cannot do this!”, focusing on just one more stroke, one more lap, breathing and technique. On a bad day I manage to convince myself that just showing up is enough. On a good day I come away feeling proud and content that I gave it my all and came away feeling successful.
While working out is hard no matter what sport you chose, sometimes there are more than just physical benefits.