Thursday, May 27, 2010

Holmes Place boyfriend/coach

I started swimming lessons. That means I have to practice swimming.

I enter the pool area of the gym in mid-February with some serious nerves.

I hadn't even looked at the pool area when I joined the gym - thinking I'd never use it. Now I was going to get in it.

Quick check of the depth - 4'. I'm safe. By 2 feet.

I swim the first session with no winesses.

The second session, on the next Friday, would be different.

The pool is three lanes. In the far lane is a middle aged woman swimming with a snorkel and a few pool noodles. In the center lane is her friend, a middle aged man. He wears oversized goggles but appears to know how to swim. Lane 3 is open, so I get in.

I start in on my very basic technique which barely involves side breathing. I can get about five strokes in before I have to stop and regroup. This goes on for a half hour.

Two weeks later, they are both in the pool again when I get there. By this time, I sort of have side breathing down, but just to my left side.

This time, the man strikes up a conversation with me. First, by asking if I was ever a model. (He certainly could tell I wasn't a swimmer, right?)

So we talk briefly. I tell him I barely know what I'm doing. I know he's watching here and there. He gives no pointers. As he's getting out of the pool he says 'you're getting it. you look a lot better than you did last time!'

And so the story continues, from February into May.

I've seen him a handful of times now and I mind as well make this guy my coach. He's watched me swimming more than anyone else. He seems to have breaststroke down, but I don't know how well his freestyle technique is. I can't say I've watched him much.

Last Friday he was there again. He asks me a again if I'm a model, to which I say no, but now I can sort of swim. He says he can tell I've been 'workin' it' in the pool. He can tell my form has gotten better and I'm bi-lateral breathing now. He gives me words of encouragement and asks what's made me 'get serious' about swimming.

So I tell him the truth - One day I want to do a triathlon.

Maybe it's because he's my sort-of-coach, but he tells me that he thinks I should sign up for one and he'll come watch me.

I think I have many more dates with the pool before that happens.

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