Even though I could think of about 17 things I would rather have done with my lunch hour, I made myself go to the pool instead.
It is a funny thing, forcing myself to swim. When I was on the swim team in high school, I was obsessed. I swam twice a day most days, rising at 4:30am to get to morning practice, and did weights during PE. My mother had a rule that if I missed school due to illness I also had to miss practice. This is a sane rule, of course, but I hated missing practice so much that it seemed wildly unfair at the time. I’d rather go to school sick than miss practice.
Once during my senior year of high school I told the coach of my club team (the team I swam on in addition to my high school team) that I was burned out. I had a nagging shoulder injury, I’d been swimming practically daily for three years, I was tired and I wasn’t improving anymore (in hindsight this was probably due to overtraining and not enough calories in my diet). He listened, nodded, and told me to take some time off, to “go find Buddha on the mountain top or something”. I was, he was clear, not to come back until I felt rested and ready to train without whining.
I went to my car, cried and drove away.
I was back two days later, ready to practice.
I swam the rest of the year, graduated high school, swam all summer and then went to college. I joined the swim team and swam through a kidney infection, a kidney stone, swam the day after my first all nighter and swam everyday until it was time to go home for Christmas break, which fell during the middle of swim season. We left with specific workouts to do every day of the holiday.
I went home, skipped the first day and then didn’t swim again for almost 5 years.
I think I may have a bit of an all or nothing streak to my personality.
Sometimes it is hard to swim. I love it but sometimes it is hard to reconcile what I can do now to what I could do then. I swam just over 3/4 of a mile today (1250 meters) in about a half hour. This would have been a warm-up in high school but it is a work out now.
I am still wanting to do the 2 mile open water swim this summer but, man, does that distance seem long to me right now.