Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Alternate Reality: Swimming

This was inspired by a post that She Moved To Texas made quite some time ago.

If you hadn't been involved in horses, what was your "alternate reality"?

Mine was swimming.

I am not sure for how many years, but it was quite a few through elementary school, middle school, high school, and part of college that I swam competitively.

I have lots of stories of course.  

For instance, in high school, I had pretty much been pegged as swimming freestyle as I am not especially great at swimming butterfly and we had a couple of great backstrokers.  I liked swimming breaststroke, but hadn't competed in it for some years.  One meet, the top two breaststrokers were going to be gone due to a church retreat, so my coach wanted to do time trials to determine who would hold the breaststroke leg of the medley relay (in which there is one person apiece doing each of the 4 strokes: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle). 

The coach had rounded up a few people for these time trials and I suggested I wanted to go ahead and try.  He looked at me pretty sceptically, but I wanted to give it a whirl anyway.  Surprise, surprise, that I almost caught up with champion breaststroker on the team. 

My coach, the of course, gave me the spot and wanted to know why I had never told him I could swim breaststroke.  The relay went well at that meet.  We came home with a second in stiff competition and was an incredible moment.

But of course, this is a horse blog, not a swimming blog.  But swimming did consume a large portion of my life for so many years.  It had major benefits towards riding of course.  I was extremely fit and had a much better seat/body balance as my core was incredibly tight. 

I am a tall, willowy built equestrian and a downside now that I struggle with is my lack of time between work, school, commuting, horses, back pain, and emotional struggles towards dedicating to finding that physical fitness that I need to be a better rider again.  Couple the hyperflexibility (gumby syndrome I call it!) and it seems to be an uphill fight.

But when I have a more stablized schedule, it is on my plan to join the Master's Swimming again.  Part of me is hesitant about doing this, because of course, I'm not going to be 17 and cranking out good times again.  But, it's about redefining my current realities and realizing that I really just miss the feeling of being part of a team in a solitary sport. 

Swimming was such a good part of my life.  I never set any records and was certainly never going to go beyond the local divisions, but even the small victories were sweet.

Sixth in this conference in 50 yard freestyle.  Pretty fun.
So if you weren't an equestrian, what's your "alternate reality"?  What sport or lifestyle did you live or what would you want to live?

1 comment:

  1. Wow I don't know what my alternate reality would be.... maybe artist or dog trainer? I loved hearing the stories about your swimming. I just learned to (barely) swim this year so that's just the coolest thing ever to me. :D


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