Jan 12, 2010



About every 3 years I get the itch to become a good swimmer. Right now I’m just a below average swimmer. I haven’t had any lessons or coaching aside from when I was a little kid, and I’ve always just gotten by on general fitness and sheer will not to drown. Plus, it’s always bothered me that I’m such a mediocre swimmer. Some things I don’t mind being mediocre at, like video games or baseball. Video games are for fat kids and baseball is for fat adults, but swimming is just plain badass. When’s the last time anyone had to play a video game or hit a home run to save their own life? Swimming, more specifically, swimming well can save your life and maybe even the life of someone else.

A little over a week ago I started having horrible knee pain while riding. It still hasn’t been professionally diagnosed, but I suspect it’s tendonitis or what’s commonly called runner’s knee. How I got runners knee from not running, I can’t figure out, but my knee hurts like hell. I can’t ride, I certainly can’t run, and even walking is uncomfortable. For a week now I’ve been resting it, icing it, compressing it, and elevating it, but it’s not getting any better. And that’s how I ended up on this swimming kick again. Since I haven’t been able to get any real exercise lately, I opted for swimming at the gym yesterday. I was only slightly successful at it. I definitely got some exercise, but because of my poor form, I can’t swim for long before I’m exhausted, and I’m sure I look like a complete ass doing it.

I’m considering a swim coach, or at the very least someone who can help me not look like an ass when I decide to swim laps. Foist is reported to be a great swimmer, but his attention span is about as solid as backstroke so I don’t think he’d make much of a mentor. Plus, I’m not sure I’m comfortable with him reaching over me to guide my arms and hands into the proper freestyle stroke position. I’m thinking a coach more on the lines of Dara Torres or Amanda Beard.

And if I can get better at swimming, and if I can ever get my knee into working order, maybe I’ll dabble in Xterra or the occasional tri. I hear those are a lot of suffering.

3 comments:

Trish said...

Dara Torres or Amanda Beard better not let their hands wander into unusual positions or I'll take them out. I think you should stick with Mark. ;-)

Back In 1980 said...

Be at the LA fitness pool 5:30 am Monday morning. lesson # 1 will be a lecture " you and your speedo" followed by a fitting.

Aly said...

Of course the pig just drew me right in, but I sympathize. Finding a sport that doesn't hurt right then, finding something new to look forward to, and trying to get good at something you suck at--something tells me you'll do just fine. My lifeguard friend says at least bad form burns more calories. Let me know if you sign up for a tri-spring!