Who Thought Up Swimming as a Sport?

It was 2o F this morning so what did I decide to do? Go swimming! I’m signing up for an indoor triathlon at my gym. It’s held in early March. The race is swim for 10 minutes, bicycle for 25 minutes and run for 20 minutes. Everything is done in the gym, so the run is on a treadmill and the bicycle is a bike used for spinning classes. For me, the order of ease with this is running, bicycling, and dragging up the rear is swimming. I know I can run for 20 minutes. I can ride the bicycle for 25 minutes though probably not very fast. The swimming is a problem.

Initially I thought, swim for ten minutes? How hard could that be? Turns out, a lot harder than I first thought.

I go to the pool at my gym and I’m always amazed at the people who effortlessly swim laps. When I swim, I swim one length, catch my breath, swim back and rest. I’m not sure I understand why swimming is so difficult for me. I obviously have the respiratory capacity and am physically able to swim. There’s something about the breathing that challenges me.

Swimming as a Sport

I’ve not been a swimmer since I was a kid. I remember those Saturday morning swimming lessons I took. I’d like to go back to my instructors and thank them for teaching me something that I can still remember.

I break out the kick boards and use them to practice kicking. It’s a good break from swimming up and down the pool. I guess I just need to practice more and eventually I’ll get better.

swimming as a sport, Flippers, goggles, and swimcap
Swimming Accessories

Since every sport I take up seems to require special accessories and clothing, I now own goggles, a swim cap, and mini flippers. I have a couple of old bathing suits that fit me. I think I’d like to get a new workout bathing suit. I’m not sure what exactly that would be but I’m sure if I start shopping, I’d find something.

I see people using aquatic headphones and feel that itch to go buy another accessory but I’m not sure that I want to listen to music or podcasts while I swim. I suspect if I ever get to the point where I can swim without feeling like I need to stop to breath that it could become a great meditative exercise.

Here’s my thoughts on swimming:

  • It’s easy on the joints and it really doesn’t require much in the way of equipment.
  • I can do it at my own pace because, let’s face it, there’s plenty of better swimmers and there’s some who are worse. Doesn’t matter because we can all just grab a lane and go for it.
  • It’s a good whole-body workout. It works the abs, hips, legs, shoulders, back, and arms but it doesn’t overwork them. It’s not like going into the weight room and lifting heavy weights. It’s easier on the body than running because you don’t have that pounding on the ground.
  • The biggest problem for me, and I know that this is silly, is that I must wear a bathing suit, I have to get wet, and then I’m usually cold when I return to the locker room.

Because I’m going to do the triathlon (indoors, mind you!), I’ll keep practicing my swimming. I’d like to be able to swim for 10 minutes without constantly stopping. I’ll keep everyone posted on how my training and that race goes.

13 thoughts on “Who Thought Up Swimming as a Sport?”

    1. Hi Judi,
      The pool at my gym is very busy at times but I’ve found that if I go at off hours, it’s not too bad. I noticed last Thursday at lunch time, the pool was full but on Wednesday morning around 7:00 only one person was swimming.

      Also, I know people can share lanes but nobody seems to do that at my gym. I think the idea of sharing is a novel one there.

      It’s Friday late afternoon and I’m going to try out the gym today. I suspect it won’t be busy. Tomorrow morning, it will be at capacity.

  1. I agree with you–it’s amazing to see people swimming laps so effortlessly! I really want to love swimming. I know it would be so good for me.

    Thanks for linking up!

  2. Welcome to the Weekly Wrap Chris and Jill! You’ll find many of our linkers are 50 and over. I am not a good swimmer, although I can dog paddle around just fine and love water skiing. I have done four sprint tris (mostly doing a side stroke) and have my own theory as to why the swim comes first. Many of us would die if we had to swim last . LOL. Good luck as you train for your indoor tri. Sounds like fun! Thanks for linking.

    1. Thanks so much for visiting Becoming Elli. I know that Ho Ho Runs usually focuses on running, not swimming, but I didn’t realize you had been doing tri’s as well.

  3. Jill, I loved your article and how you honestly detail your athletic weakest link. My sisters and I (and girl cousins) were brought up swimming. My aunt (mom’s younger sister) taught swimming classes at the Sharon, PA St John’s indoor pool. So of course we went and she was strict. We then were privileged to go every weekend during spring and most of summers to our boat camp at Pymatuning Lake near Jamestown PA. We didn’t have boats but loved to camp and swim in the lake. So I think that established our love and technique for swimming. If you can swim in the waters of Pymatuning lake..swimming pools were a breeze. I look at the sport/athletic event of “running” as you do swimming. We weren’t brought up running or even as adults, my family weren’t (still aren’t) motivated to attempt this. My body “screams” at me if I attempt anything more than a jog for longer than 5 minutes. I love your webpage. Thank you Jill and Chris for developing and inviting me!

    1. Hi Marty –
      I used to swim in Pymatuning Lake when I was a kid, too. We used to camp on the PA side of the lake. I remember the men cleaning fish not too far from the swimming area. Once I saw a snapping turtle and was not eager to go in the water much after that!

      Thanks for visiting Becoming Elli and leaving a comment! Jill and I are really excited about this!
      Chris

    2. Hi Marty, I did a lot of swimming lessons as a child but I got out of the habit as I grew up. Also, most of my outdoor swimming was in the Gulf of Mexico when we would visit my grandparents. So, I’m very fond of warm water.

      I’m so glad you found our website and responded. I hope you’ll add your email to the subscription list and stay in touch!

  4. I have always struggled with swimming but this year I’m thinking of doing a Super Sprint Triathlon. The swimming distance would be 800m… i don’t think I can do 10m right now. But it’s in December so maybe if I do a little each day I’ll get there. And you are so right – there are so many benefits to swimming!

    1. A super sprint would be a perfect tri to do. What a great goal! Keep uy’s posted on your progress. Thanks for posting.

  5. I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I am quite certain I will learn many new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

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