In a bold and brave move, I tried something new this morning – my first-ever (yes, not joking, even though I’ve worked there for years and been a member for at least a handful-ish more), I took my first group fitness class at the Y. That’s probably embarrassing to admit, but you know, I’ve been a little busy growing and popping out and nursing babies for the last 8 years, so group fitness just hasn’t been on my radar.
Except, now that I think about it, I’m not sure the class I took is exactly a “group” one. I mean, you are there with other people, but you totally get to do your own thing based on your skill level, which is good because my skillz are LOW and I definitely needed to not be worried about keeping up with the fast kids. I just needed to stay focused on staying alive.
Yes and no, especially when you consider that this mysterious class I speak of was my first time in a POOL for lap swimming/lessons in 20-25ish years. You guys, I’m 34. That means that since my early years in the double digits, I have done nothing like what I did (at 5:30 A.M.!!!) this morning and I lived to tell the tale. Perhaps you’d maybe be a bit dramatic, too, in a similar situation.
So, the class. It is taught by my dearest friend and thank goodness because otherwise I never would have gone, or if I had, I would have burst into tears at just how poorly I did. As it was, she kept a watchful and nurturing eye on me the whole time and didn’t care one bit that I basically kept my head above water the whole time and didn’t even do half of the stream line lap assignments for the day. (The group is split into four skill levels/lanes and has a series of styles/skills to do for a set number of pool lengths, also based on skill level; in case you need clarification, I am a D, which is the slowest (but mightiest?) group, and clearly stands for Dang Right, I Just DID That and Didn’t Drown!). Because holy moly cow, I about lost my shit. And my cookies.
Honestly, I don’t know what happened. Beyond the whole it’s been a couple decades since I tried this and I have never been a “good” swimmer, I darn near had a panic attack in the pool this morning.
I got in for the warm up laps, trying to do the American Crawl stroke and my breath just freaked the eff out. As in, out of breath completely and not from being out of shape (well, maybe that was part of it), but because I was panicky. I swallowed water, too, which made my stomach feel terrible and queasy, and was another factor in the not doing the whole workout or even staying the whole time. Add some water up my nose, too, which I am totally still smelling, four hours and one shower later, and you get a whole bucket of awesomeness.
But you know what? I started. I tried something new and apparently terrifying and I freaked out and I’ll probably do it again. Why? Because I have a goal in January to complete in the Y’s Couch Potato Triathlon (you have two weeks to get in all the lengths of your three activities) and thank goodness I am starting to practice in the pool NOW because otherwise my January Quest would most likely be a bust.
I also gained a truck load of perspective for my kiddos this morning, and why they might balk at swimming lesson days for preschool. The water is no joke and apparently they don’t exactly come from swimming stock.
But again, I started, and everyone has to start somewhere.
This, by the way, is me in my car after leaving class early. I was totally trying not to hurl the whole way across the parking lot. And when I got home, three Littles – who weren’t supposed to be up out of bed yet – met me in the dark kitchen, so instead of collapsing in tears in the bathroom, I curled up in a ball on my kitchen floor (again – so not joking) and had them cover me up with a blanket where I let the fetal position help me regain my equilibrium until I felt OK enough to get up and shower so I could nurse the baby chlorine free.
Crazy? Perhaps. But worth it to see their not-so-little eyes get even bigger when I explained that I did something new and hard today? You bet.
I have no idea how I will feel about this later today or tomorrow. I’m sure I’m going to be tired and sore. But dang it, I started. That’s got to count for something.