Swimming (Worcester)

Below is a well written blog from our member Chris. He’s ALWAYS around, spreading good vibes. If he isn’t in the Woo- he is traverbaling somewhere else. He is a staple in the community for sure. Thanks for sharing this with us, and we are always GLAD YOU’RE HERE.

I’m gonna go for it

Sucks getting old. I whined to my wife recently that I’m sad to be losing speed in the pool.

I’ve been a swimmer for as long as I can remember. Won my share of races as a kid and even set a Boy Scout backstroke record. I took a bunch of time off and then got back into it as an adult. Recently, it just hit me how badly my times are increasing compared to even just a year ago. I used to come in around 0:52 in the 50m free on a good day, middle of the workout. Lately, it’s been more like 1:05. Frankly, even the 0:52 isn’t a great time for my age group, but there are some extenuating circumstances.

You need to remember that in the pool, a second is a lifetime. In the 2016 Olympics 100m free, first and eighth place were separated by 0.83”.

Let that sink in.

If you were one second behind the winner, you weren’t even close to being in the race. So to drop 13 seconds can make you feel like you might as well just pack it in.

I got out of the car this morning to be greeted by a cold drizzle as I made my way to the door of the Greendale Y. I’ve been hammering the same workout for the last few months, trying to make some headway. Shuffling along to the pool, I was feeling “well, this is what it is to get old.” But my wife always reminds me that I should be happy to still be able to keep at it at our age. It’s often little solace but I do try to keep it in mind. 

I’m not very competitive, but swimming is the exception that validates the rule. Ya know that movie, “Seabiscuit?” And how they say in it that Seabiscuit would really only perform when he was running next to another horse? Well that’s me. In the pool, anyway. I see someone in the lane next to me and we make the turn at the same time, and all I can think of is if I can beat him or her to the touch. Here’s the workout that’s been kicking my butt:

1 x 200 swim 200 

1 x 200 kick 200 

1 x 300 strong pull 300 

3 x 50 sprint 15s rest 150 

1 x 250 strong pull 250 

2 x 50 sprint 10s rest 100 

1 x 200 strong pull 200 

1 x 50 sprint 50 

1 x 200 strong pull 200 

2 x 50 sprint 10s rest 100 

1 x 250 strong pull 250 

2 x 50 sprint 10s rest 100 

1 x 200 kick 200 


It usually takes me about an hour to get that in, and with my schedule lately, I typically only get about 1,700 or so done. I was about 2/3 of the way through it this morning and despite the amount of work on my desk I just said, “Fuck it. I’m gonna go for it.” I managed to get the whole thing done in just over 50 mins and at least one of the 50m sprints came in at 0:57. I have to say I was pretty happy with that. This is obviously an arm-heavy workout, and even though NP is pretty leg-heavy, you get a lot of general conditioning which is certainly a contributing factor here. That was the fastest 50m sprint I’ve done in ages. I’m not about to win any races at this point, but I felt pretty good getting out of the pool this morning. Once again, note to self: listen to your wife.

Not sure who needs to hear this, but I’ll say it again anyway. When you’re feeling like crap, or feeling down, or thinking you just can’t drag yourself into the gym one more time, #justshowup. Play, in the back of your head, your wife or your partner or your bestie or someone you met at last week’s NP telling you that you can do it. You may not need to try to beat Seabiscuit in the lane next to you, but find that one little goal you can aim towards. Hitting that 50m sprint will carry me for a while. It seems to me that I always have the best days when I’m not feeling great starting out. You can either make a bunch of excuses, or you can just get on with it. I can pretty much guarantee you’ll be happy you did it and it will make you feel much better about yourself than just giving up and watching another episode of “The Bachelor” on the couch. If you take nothing else from NP, take this: No matter how slow you think you are or how poorly you think you’re doing, there are people rooting for you.

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2 Replies to “Swimming (Worcester)”

  1. To whoever wrote this……. I felt like it was written for me! I was on the verge of not going to my Tri-Class this morning (swim, bike, brickwork, etc). I’ve been pretty burnout and wasn’t sure what I was going to do. However, I stumbled about this blog posting and caught my eye enough to open it up and read. A friend asked if I was going to make it and my answer was by sharing this blog. I told her my goal was simply just show up. I dragged myself out of bed and did just that and actually didn’t quit in the midst!!! Just wanted to share and say thanks!!!

    1. You have no idea how happy it makes me to read your comment. I’m ecstatic that the post helped you get over a hump. NP has changed my life and I’m glad that I was able to share some of that with you. Glad you’re here!

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