I am very good at finding things. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of looking for something, whether it is hide-and-seek, capture the flag, hunting for four-leaf clovers, finding the important piece of paper that Jeremy misplaced, lost and missing people, car keys dropped in a hayfield, and of course, toasters. I usually meet the challenge head-on with tons of gusto and do not stop until I find what I’m looking for. This is a fact about me which changed just two days ago. When we moved to Houston, I knew that I was going to find a great place to swim because when I began swimming last summer, I loved it so much that I’ve become quite attached to it as a hobby, sport, and form of exercise. Before we put an offer down on our house, it was actually something I took into account. I went online to see what my nearby swimming options were and after locating a YMCA and a local Masters Swim club, I was thoroughly satisfied. Once we moved, I inquired about both of these places and ended up deciding that Masters Swimming had more to offer me overall and it was a lot less expensive as well. So, I promptly signed up and became a card-holding member and then emailed my new coach to let him know I was going to start coming to early morning swim practice.
I had plans to begin Wednesday morning, so after work on Tuesday, I went on a search to find my swim bag, which holds my swim buoy, goggles, swim cap, swimmer’s ear, heart rate monitor, and some other stuff like face lotion and hair bands. I had already found the box from our Master Bathroom that had my swimsuit, so all I really needed were the goggles, swim cap, and buoy and I’d be ready to go. It would be no problem, after all, since I am awesome at finding anything. I mean, the power cord for Jeremy’s computer took me like 15 minutes just a few days ago. It does also help that I have an uncanny ability to remember where I last saw something – in picture format, like my mind actually took a snapshot of it. And I had, of course, the snapshot of where the swim bag was the day that the movers arrived. It was sitting on the guest bed. So, I began by finding all of the boxes that came from that part of the house as well as all of the areas where those things had already been unpacked. When I didn’t find it in any of those places, I started to look in other places in case it was put with some miscellaneous items instead. After 3 or 4 hours of searching, I was starting to get a little crazy so I called Jeremy (who was back in Fayetteville for work) to see if he had any memory of seeing it somewhere. He didn’t, so I continued making rounds into every room and searching every nook and cranny. I mean, I looked in the kitchen cabinets, the laundry room, the empty bathroom, the garage ….. seriously, everywhere! When it came midnight, I finally threw in the towel and went to bed, deciding that I would look again the next day. And so I did. I proceeded to unpack every box that wasn’t unpacked to the point that I could say that the red Nike swim bag was not in there. I unpacked things like china and stemware, and other very unlikely boxes, but I still didn’t find it.
The next part I am a little embarrassed to share but it is the point of this post. I gave up. I know, I know ….. I never give up. But a pair of goggles and a swim cap only cost $20-30, and at this point I was willing to pay that much just to be done looking. I searched online for nearby swim gear shops (and actually found what I was looking for) and then dropped in to pick up what I needed.
A few days later, I have concluded that the elusive swim bag may have gone to live in the “Land of the Doorknobs”, never to be seen again. (I’ll have to explain this reference later.) I sure hope not, but I just don’t see where else it could be. I wouldn’t be too sad about it but I really will miss that heart rate monitor and those things aren’t cheap.
Anyway, Thursday morning I headed off for my first swim. I was a little surprised with the temps in the low 50’s that we were swimming outside, but the pool is heated and it’s twice as big as their indoor so I guess that makes sense. Thursday happens to be a distance workout day, and I’ve done quite a bit of distance on my own, so that didn’t make me too nervous. Coach Allen did have some pointers after my first few laps (boy is a 50m pool big …. if felt like I swam a half mile before I got to the other end to turn around!) about using my core better and keeping my hips more stable. He also pointed out that I do a great job of follow through with my stroke but that I don’t do so great a job with the ‘catch’ part of the stroke which is really the part that pulls you through the water. I’m excited to get feedback like this since I’ve really just been swimming along happily until now, probably picking up a lot of bad habits. Our group is also really small so I think that is going to mean that I get more personal coaching as well, so hopefully my stroke and technique will improve a lot from here. The one bad thing about the swim yesterday is that I forgot my towel. I had to get out of that warm pool, walk around to the far side with my kickboard and buoy to put them away in the freezing cold air, and then back to the dressing room. Then, I put my clothes on top of my dripping wet swimsuit and headed to the car. By car, I mean Jeep and since Jeremy left town with all the windows off in the back, the ride home was quite chilly. At least it wasn’t too far.
I went again this morning, which was even colder down in the mid 40’s, so the pool was steaming, creating a dense fog around the pool. It was kinda cool to swim like that especially since it’s still dark at that time of the morning. It was another distance day and my workout totaled a mile, with the last bit stretching my skills a bit with a drill where you swim each leg faster than the one before. I’d heard about this kind of drill but had never done one before and with it at the very end, I was quite tired. But, I did well and Coach Allen expressed that he was impressed that it didn’t even seem like it was hard for me – almost getting at that he’d have to work me harder next time around. But, even if I wasn’t super winded, my muscles were pretty shot, particularly since he gave me a few more pointers about what to change with my technique today. And changing the way you swim isn’t as easy as I thought it would be, so it has been really challenging me to have to focus so much on exactly what I’m doing with my whole body; basically opposing what comes naturally. At least I remembered my towel though, so the drive home was more pleasant this time. It may take a while for me to get used to getting up so early to go swim, but so far I really like it and I’m looking forward to seeing what next week’s workouts have in store for me.