I had my first session of swim training yesterday, And it was pretty much what I expected.
Which is to say, I sucked.
Which is to say, it was a suckful of suckiness from the great annual suckfest at sucksville sucksylvania.
As my brother would say, it didn’t just suck, it hoovered.
But perhaps I am being too subtle here.
The “highlight” of the training sessions was when we were doing catchup drills; the triathletes in the audience will know what this is. For the rest of you. . .it’s not really important. All you need to know is that I was motoring (ha ha) down the pool with a kickboard clenched between my thighs (and all I can say is thank God they don’t call them flutterboards in this country; it is hard enough to keep your dignity in the pool as it is) and the next thing I knew the pressure of my manly buttocks had fired the kickboard two lanes across the pool. And the crowd went wild.
On the plus side I was relieved to discover that I don’t have to wear a speedo. That was a real concern. The world is definitely not ready for the sight of me in a speedo. In fact, the world isn’t ready for the sight of any man in a speedo. Yes, I know that champion triathlete Faris Al-Sultan races in one. But he looks like a tool. And I’m sure he’s only a champion because when he passes people they are instantly stricken blind.
So I’m facing the sorry truth that, like most New Zealand kids of my generation, all we actually learned when we were being taught to swim was, in essence, survival swimming. Enough technique so that if we fell off the back of the inter-island ferry while chundering up our breakfast we could stay afloat long enough for the ship to turn around and run us over.
One of the things I have really enjoyed about being involved in multisport is that it doesn’t remind me at all of the horror days of school sports. Those were the days where I was useless at everything and felt useless.
Well, my first day in the pool was exactly like that.
I’m sure it will get a little easier (it bloody well better!). But one of the things I’m struggling with is that up until this point I’ve been used to being reasonably competent at something (cycling) and moderately competent at something else (running). But now I’m engaged in an activity where it would probably be more productive to harpoon me, filet me, and send me straight to a Japanese street market.
It’s going to be a long year.