This is the time of the year when I get in the same funk of hating everything about swimming, and especially myself for being a cry baby and writing a blog post about it. But that's ok. It's all part of the process, to face these stupid thoughts of being a wimp and embracing comfort instead of THE SUCK.
Maybe there are people out there who thoroughly enjoy doing endless laps in the pool, but I am not one of them. I absolutely adore swimming in my wetsuit in open water (as long as I'm not attacked by birds, fish or weeds) and I find that getting into my"bubble of bliss" is the best, most relaxing feeling ever, alas only temporary. Once September comes, the bliss is gone and I return to being crammed into half a lane of heavily chlorinated water, not deeper than 3 feet, trying to navigate around hair balls and band-aids, and sometimes trying to find out whether that object at the bottom of the pool is really poop or an innocent piece of plastic.
I am on the verge of making the decision NOT to go back to the group swim again. What for? Next year I will be doing my first Ironman. I know I can swim the 3.8km in 1h20, based on my open water times which have been very consistent and accurate when it comes to racing in the same conditions. I'm ok with being an average swimmer (most of the time anyway). I am not trying to win my age group and everyone knows that the swim rarely makes a difference over 140.6 miles, especially for age groupers. So, why would I put myself through 6 months of hell when my goal would be to maintain enough fitness in the pool to keep swimming this distance in 1h20? And who knows, maybe with enough repetition, the time will improve as well... I don't see how one could get slower when muscle memory is maintained.
Anyone reading this will most likely say - she has the wrong attitude, she's not competitive enough, she doesn't care about getting better, all she does is whine, whine, whine. Can't she just harden the fuck up already! I DO care about getting better, but I am not convinced that trying to keep up with a group makes me better. Because trying to keep up with them makes my form collapse and my best form is when I am in my happy place, devoid of peer pressure. And is it really a failure to trade discomfort for complacency? Is it worth putting so much pressure on myself, when I could concentrate on getting better at biking and running? I still have not made a final decision, but I'm afraid that putting myself through this kind of misery is going to kill my passion for this sport. And I only do it for my own enjoyment, not for breaking records, so anyway... My head is again a mess, trying to make a sense of all these thoughts bouncing around like ping pong balls.
It's all a matter of perspective... I know.