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Major Realization In The Pool

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My hubby recently told me that he's concerned about me snorkeling on our upcoming vacation. I now enjoy snorkeling and the depth of the water doesn't seem to bother me much. I tend to panic more if there are a lot of people around but if I were the only person in the ocean, I think I'd be fine. I understand my hubby's concern because if I do panic, I could drown so I've been working on spending more time in the big (deep) pool trying to get more comfortable.

Last week it occurred to me that, as a runner, I am a mouth-breather so maybe that is also the case in the water. I feel panic as soon as I try to exhale underwater through my nose so I put on a nose clip and did my exhales through my mouth. It seemed to be better so I started down my lane holding onto a kick board for support. After a few laps, I tried a very ugly stroke while keeping one hand on the kick board at all times. The man swimming in the lane next to me didn't stop to try to rescue me so I guess I didn't look as awkward as I felt.

This week, I warmed up and worked my way up to trying to let go of the board before I reached the end of my lane. Each time, I went a little farther without the board. I even did a few laps with no board at all. It felt like "head to the side for inhale, head in and start exhaling through mouth, flail, flail, flail, head to the other side for inhale, head in and start exhaling through mouth, flail, flail, flail, ..."

I was exhausted after only a few laps because of the stress but I was ridiculously proud of myself. I think I'll keep this up for a few weeks to get more comfortable and less panicky and then consider finding a swim instructor to help me work on technique.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    YOU ROCK!!! I am so excited and so proud of you for overcoming your fears. You are remarkable! Can't wait to hear all about your snorkeling adventures. :) emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Time To Sink Or Swim

Friday, June 27, 2014

I'm not sure what made me do it but I decided the other day to set a goal of jumping off the edge of the deep pool into the water. I even posted my goal on Facebook to hold myself accountable. I was very touched by how much support and encouragement I received after my post.

I've been working on my fear of water for awhile and have gotten to the point where I could ease myself into the water and slowly work myself up to putting my head underwater. I would swim down and back holding on to a floaty board with my head up out of the water, then I would swim down and back on my back, then I'd swim down and back with a snorkel mask on. By the end of my 30 minute session, I might be willing to try exhaling through my nose once or twice. I was getting very frustrated with how slowly I was progressing so I decided it was time to do something drastic, to literally "sink or swim."

I headed out to the "big" pool. I was the only person there so I went to the far lane (where the exit ladders are). I stood at the edge of the 5' deep end and, after taking several deep breaths, held my nose and jumped off the edge. I'm only 5 feet tall so I knew I would be totally underwater. My feet touched bottom and I shot back up to the surface. I climbed up the ladder, moved to my right a few steps and jumped again. I repeated this process all the way down the side of the pool, eventually working all the way to the 8 foot deep end. Then I moved around the corner to the starting blocks at the end and jumped 5 more times in the deepest part of the pool. I made a total of 25 jumps and my feet touched the bottom every single time! It was very scary but also kind of exciting.

I ended my session by doing the breaststroke from the deep end to the shallow end. When I got out of the pool, I started shaking so badly I could hardly walk. I know it was just the adrenaline that was flooding through my body. Afterwards, my hubby asked if it had gotten easier as I'd gone along. I told him that I had really been trying not to think about it as I was doing it. I'm not sure what my next step will be but I'm hopeful that my progress continues on. This was such a huge accomplishment for me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASHMIR 6/30/2014 3:42PM

    Congratulations!!! So very proud of your determination to show this fear who is in control!!!!

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CHEPRBYTHEDOZN 6/27/2014 11:18AM

    YAY!!! Cheryl, I am so proud of you!!!! Next step- swimming class and then a TRI!!! ;)

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I Went Into The "Big" (Deep) Pool!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Yesterday I had an incredible accomplishment - I did my swim-ish in the "big" pool which is 8 feet deep! I planned to do my swim-ish in the inside "small" pool (only 5' deep at the deepest) like I normally do and some of the ladies I know were talking about how cold the small pool was and how warm it was in the big pool. The big pool is outside covered by a huge canvas tent and the heat was set very warm. Margaret, who is a friend from aqua class, talked me into trying to do my swim-ish outside (she promised she wouldn't let me drown!). I'm not sure why I agreed but I did.

I went out and had to take a center lane (next to Margaret) since the outside lanes were all being used. I got in and realized I couldn't touch bottom even in the shallow end. I took a deep breath and started off using my floaty board and kicking my legs. I made it to the deep end without incident. Hmmm... I made my way back to the shallow-er end. So far so good. Ok...back float with a kick...down and back. Ok...put on the swim snorkel since i haven't figured out how to do the breathing part of swimming yet. I can only do a front float with a kick but it moves me through the water - eventually, I'll figure out what to do with my arms. Down and back (wow, it's really deep in the 8 foot end!). Ok...back float with a kick again. Good.

Every time I got back to the shallow-er end, I realized Margaret was watching me (Thanks!!!). I was feeling pretty good and wasn't showing any signs of a panic attack and I had not broken out in hives. She was so proud of me and I could NOT stop grinning. I then set off with the swim snorkel on again. Down...back...down...back...I ended up doing a total of 20 lengths of the pool without having to stop to calm myself down. This has never happened before. I was SO excited. I stayed in the big pool doing my version of swimming (which is why I call it swim-ish) for 35 minutes. I was so happy when I was done that I called my hubby to invite him out to lunch to celebrate with me. emoticon

Not sure where I go from here but I know that I will be back in the "big" pool before too long!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEABREEZE65 3/30/2013 6:00AM

    Congratulations.... what a great accomplishment!

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TOWHEE 3/30/2013 1:25AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I'm so excited !! That is such a wonderful accomplishment.

Margaret (not the one in the pool, but I would have been, if I knew where and when). emoticon

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KASHMIR 3/29/2013 12:03PM

    That is purely terrific!!! So Proud of you!!!!

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CHEPRBYTHEDOZN 3/29/2013 11:17AM

    oh, Cheryl!!!!!!!! I have tears reading this!!! I'm so incredibly proud of you!!!!!!

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Marathon Training Starts Today!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Today is the day I start training for my first full marathon which is the end of July. I have been reading tons of material about running, strength training, nutrition, and mental preparedness. I've got my training schedule which takes into account the shorter races and relays that I have signed up for between now and then. I'm ready to get started and see how I do.

I have picked a trail marathon as my first. It's a very small race held in a beautiful park in downtown Portland. I will have a chance to run my long training runs there which I feel will greatly benefit me. I have a wonderful running buddy who has agreed to run this with me. I know that will really help me to get through this.

My only goal for this race will be to arrive injury-free at the start and to finish the race and have a fun and memorable experience. I am open to any advice or suggestions for making this a fantastic adventure. Thanks.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUV4CHOCOLATE 3/18/2013 12:32PM

    Congrats on your decision to complete a marathon! Your goals are great and it sounds like you will prepare yourself well. Run your long runs slow and easy. Make sure you fuel yourself appropriately (and hydrate). Practice the same fueling and hydration you expect to use during your race. Don't skip any of those long runs! During the race, don't start off too fast -- you'll want to save your energy for the last half. And most importantly, enjoy yourself!!!

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HLTHYRNRMOM 3/18/2013 12:18PM

    emoticon agree 100% & love your goals~ arrive injury free & finish!

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Interesting Incident At The Pool

Sunday, October 28, 2012

On Friday, I went to the pool for the first time since the trip with my trainer. My gym has three pools: an outdoor pool which goes up to 8 feet deep (I've never set foot in it), an indoor pool which goes up to 5 feet deep, and a kiddie pool next to it where swim lessons are held.

I was taking it easy and everything was going well until a group of about 8 kids got into the kiddie pool for their lessons. Being the last day of the session, the parents were allowed to sit in chairs on the four-foot-wide deck that separates the two pools. Being able to hear the kids splashing, talking and laughing made me a little tense and being able to see the parents at the edge of my lane made me extremely anxious. I stopped at the deeper end and was actually considering getting out of the water and walking around the far side of the pool to leave. I decided to do what I usually do while I'm in the deep end before I got out: I dip under the water a few times (holding my nose) and try to touch my knees to the bottom. As I was underwater, I realized that I didn't feel as tense since I couldn't see or hear the others.

I moved to the middle lane which was open and tried my backstroke laps again. As long as my ears were in the water so I couldn't hear anything and I could no longer see anyone on the pool edge, I was much more relaxed. I did fine as long as I was moving through the water. I'm starting to think my issue is more about being in a crowded area in the water rather than just being in the water itself. That could be a very important difference.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOBBYD31 10/28/2012 8:54PM

    good for you, them more comfortable you get in water the more comfortable you will get with the people around

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CHEPRBYTHEDOZN 10/28/2012 4:39PM

    hmm...THAT is very interesting...I'm very proud of you for facing the fears and being so darned brave! Enjoy your pool time.

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 10/28/2012 12:48PM

    It sounds like you may have had a breakthrough, just knowing those things could help you work through it.

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KASHMIR 10/28/2012 10:59AM

    I know what a determined lady you can be, and I have complete faith you are going to work through this and have SO much fun on vacation!!!

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