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It's a Froggy-Frog World

Okay, I know that's a bad wordplay on what is already an eggcorn, but I couldn't help myself. The allusion, of course, is to swimming, which is something I am able to do right now. In addition to laying off of running, I've decided I need to give biking a break, because, if I'm being honest with myself (which I sometimes hate doing), it aggravates my foot—and my pelvis, but that's another issue. While the impact of biking is minimal, I still use my foot to push down on my pedal, which creates enough pressure that it could be delaying healing. So there's my first confession for the day.

Confession #2: No activity I do is pain free. So even swimming sometimes exacerbates pain I've been experiencing in the medial (inside) arch of my foot. Frustrating, right? (Right!) But it's mild and its level of irritation seems to be directly related to how long and hard I swim. So when I went to a coached group swim last Tuesday, I swam harder than I normally do on my own. I felt the pain a bit more afterward. But the reward from this session was significant enough to warrant the mild and temporary pain. That's my position for now, anyway.

This was the most "coached" swim session I've ever had, which means I learned all things I suck at can improve at. It was a lot to take in at once—counting strokes, streamlining (which I had no idea I was supposed to do), following through, sighting, cupping, among others. But the coach, Julie, had us focus on just one thing at a time, so it didn't feel too overwhelming.

We're happy because it's over! Just kidding; it was fun. Really.

Even though we in the group weren't directly competing with one another, it's hard for me to swim next to someone and not try to beat them. This inclination proved detrimental when, toward the end of practice, we were to swim five 100s (100 m is out and back two times) with 8 seconds of rest in between at about 75 percent effort. I realized that what I thought was 75 percent was closer to 100, and I burned out really fast. I had to concede to the woman sharing my lane (who probably wasn't racing me like I was racing her). And that was hard to swallow. But here is where I need to step back and be okay with not being perfect or the best—I'm so far from it!—and just take these opportunities to improve.

I have a lot to practice going forward, but at least I know now what I should be working on. I had pretty much become complacent with my own way of swimming, which was based purely on what felt good and natural to me, but I now know that some of the efficiencies I learned may not feel natural at first. So I just have to deal with it.


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