Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Start

Red toe buds, painted because I'm acquiring some sense of feminine identity.
Wouldn't have done it as a habit earlier, but now I do and take pleasure in it.
A co-worker recently asked me how I had gone about 
losing nearly seventy pounds since last April. 
After I'd told him a bit of my story he said he found it 
inspiring and felt that I should write about my journey 
and the places it has been taking me. 
I decided I should start another blog because it would give me 
a place to keep notes about my observations and experiences.
It's not going to be about weight loss and recipes as much 
as it will be about swimming and the journey 
I make towards achieving my goals:
to have a sleek, healthy body and to be able to swim 
one-half mile in less than thirty minutes.

This picture, taken in September of 2007,
shows me weighing in at 275 pounds, which is about the same
weight I was when I began this odyssey in March 2013.
I didn't have any other photos of myself where I wasn't hiding
behind other people in a group, last row on the end.
At this time last year, I would have not been able to make it to the end 
of a 25-meter pool without difficulty. I looked very much as
I did in the above picture when I approached an Indianapolis Aquatic
Masters coach about joining his group at the IUPUI Natatorium.
I'd seen swimmers wearing black caps, swimming back and forth a few
lanes from me, whose relaxed swimming resembled sleek, black 
seals. When I asked Craig how I could learn to swim like that
he said, "Show up." No, I meant do I have to meet a certain time
standard or be able to swim certain strokes (i.e., the butterfly)?
"No," he said, "we'll help you with that."
And repeated, "Show up."

A few weeks later, I began doing just that, starting with two times 
a week, then three, quickly progressing to four sessions 
a week. I am now looking to add a fifth day.
I wouldn't have thought it at first, because I had a difficult time
just getting the skill and confidence to swim one length
of the Natatorium's 50-meter pool. I frustrated Craig, who
came to me with techniques and tricks designed
to help me with my stroke. Craig was very happy as I began
to show progress; he is an outgoing, exuberant man who
loves teaching and it showed with every little bit
of success I've shown him. 

This photo was taken by IAM Founder and Assistant Coach,
Mel Goldstein at the first day of the IAM 100 X 100 Swims. I am not
in this photo as I gave out after about two hours.
Overall, as the pounds have fallen away, I've seen my body 
change, becoming firm and strong. My step and 
posture have changed as I become increasingly confident.
Joining IAM has been one of the best things 
I've done for myself. Ever. 
I've never known such a group of positive, supportive 
people. I've gone from having little panic attacks 
each time I approached the pool, to being able 
to swim about two hours. I've gone from wondering 
whether I might ever be able to accomplish any goals, 
to looking forward to new challenges, trying to 
perform whatever new tests the coaches 
ask me to learn, as well as those I set for myself.

Swim a half mile in under thirty minutes, 
as well as be able to complete two-and-a-half miles?
Let's see what the year brings as I work 
to achieve that goal.

1 comment:

  1. as always Sara, one of your art forms--words-- well done/