Following Dory’s Advice

I have always liked to swim, but have never been very good at it. Two months ago I started adult stroke correction lessons. Best thing ever. I’m not about to break any world records, but the 25 metre laps at the pool at my gym aren’t quite as arduous as they once were.

Miss G inspired me to dive in with enthusiasm. She has been having weekly swimming lessons for years – and for quite some time I never though she would master freestyle. Two months ago she was promoted to mini squad – so she swims lap after lap for an hour twice a week. It is a pleasure to watch her swim – it seems so effortless. And absolute proof that if you never give up you’ll get there in the end.

So why stroke correction for me right now? The Triathlon Pink on October 6th 2012. To complete the short course I have to swim for 100 metres. So I need to build my stamina and confidence in the pool.


So I found myself looking at the pool yesterday afternoon while Miss G was doing heroin squad laps. I try to swim another two times a week besides the stroke correction lesson. I’ve got give weeks to build up to swimming four laps of the pool without stopping. I took the photo above for the #fmsphotoaday challenge – yesterday was “far away” – and from my perspective right now 25 metres seems very far away.

So I got in the pool and started swimming two laps of freestyle and two laps of backstroke. (I had never swum back stroke until two months ago. My plan was to swim for half an hour, just doing as many laps as I could, and try to swim more than 25 metres backstroke without stopping.

When I started I was sharing the lane with someone swimming just a little faster than me. Then she got out and another swimmer got in the lane – he was very fast, and could swim at least three laps while I swam one. Up until yesterday this would have put me off, because my mind would have started saying I wasn’t good enough and there was no point trying – I would never be that fast.

But I kept going – and surprised myself at the 26 minute mark that I had done 18 laps. And then I realised another two laps would mean 500 metres – half a kilometre of swimming in half an hour. I had never swum that far before. Ever.

And even after all the effort I had put in for the first 26 minutes, those last two laps were the easiest – probably because I really believed I could do it!

I didn’t manage to swim 50 metres without stopping last night – but I really think on two weeks time I will be.

And I was very pleased with the calorie burn for half an hour.


So I’ll be ready for the swimming leg. The 1 kilometre run doesn’t worry me. But the be riding leg – well that’s another matter. And another post soon.

Swim, ride or walk to your nearest goal.

Well I have been inspired by all those 12wbt-ers who entered the Triathlon Pink in Sydney on Saturday.  I thought to myself my week 4 milestone event will be a “gym triathlon” – a couple of laps of the pool, say 10kms on a stationary bike at the gym and 1km running on the treadmill.  And then I thought – why shouldn’t work towards entering the 2012 Triathlon Pink in Sydney?  Only one problem.

Hello, my name is Leonie, I’m 46 years old and I can’t ride a bicycle.

I asked the usually supportive – 120% supportive – Mr. G if he would teach me how to ride.  His response was a mix of a chortle and a chuckle, and said only if you don’t scream.  (Did I mention he has tried before – and there is a lot of fear to get over for me.)

So I posted the following post on the 12wbt Sydneysiders page – mainly because I wanted to vent.  Here’s what I said:

After seeing the pictures of the Pink Triathalon on here and reading about it – I’m thinking is this something I could work towards for this time next year (short course is looking good.) Only one problem though – I just had a look at the website and only kids are allowed training wheels. Yep, I’m 46 yrs young and I have NEVER ridden a bike more than a metre without falling off! So, is there hope for me? Anyone ever taught an adult how to ride – or learned themselves as an adult?

I am blown away by the response to my post.  First, Kristi said she would be able to teach me – and she encouraged me not to wait until I’d lost more weight – but to go for it sooner.  Last night we even started making tentative plans on Facebook.  Thanks to Kristi my whole mind set has changed.  I really believe I’ll be able to do this!

And it’s not just being able to enter the triathlon – but also, to be able to ride on bike tracks with my kids and Mr G.  And I’ve always wanted to go to Lord Howe Island – but the main mode of transport is bicycle – that seems achievable now!  And Mr G. and I visited Rottnest Island when I was pregnant with Master G. – I I promised myself I would learn to ride then (14 years ago) and bring my children back on a cycling holiday of the island.  It all seems to be within my grasp now – and I haven’t even tried on a helmet 😉

Just a little while ago I logged onto Facebook – first time today – and I am amazed by other  12wbt members who are in my position (didn’t learn as a child but would like to learn now), Triathlon Pink participants encouraging me to go for it and members who can ride ready to support me as I learn.

Tonight’s 12wbt task for me is finishing off my week 3 & 4 Reflection, Recognition and Re-commitment exercise set by Mish.  My goals will be centred around working towards a Triathlon Pink next October in Sydney.

I’ve decided to aim high and work towards entering the medium course.

From the website: “The medium course triathlon is a 200m swim followed by a 6km ride followed by a 2km run.  In the 2008 event in Sydney the fastest Pinkie finished in 22 minutes and the slowest Pinkie completed the course in 57 minutes.”  Even if I can’t achieve that this time next year, if I work towards it I will probably be prepared enough to enter the short course.