6 Ways to Find Zen in the Lap Lane

I used to be one of these:

Before this summer I hadn’t swum a real lap since I was 11 years old.  I love the water.  I can swim but hadn’t worked it into my fitness regimen.  Frankly I was afraid.  Since I hurt my foot during the Miami Marathon, my running is still a ways off.  So to keep from going crazy stay in shape I reintroduced myself to the lap lane.  Plus, I had have a crazy, out-of-the-park, idea to make it to an Ironman one day.  I suppose I ought to swim a few strokes, get a road or triathlon bike and have my head examined.  I am not committing to that goal just yet because once I do there is no turning back.  I think baby steps are in order like a Sprint Tri in April.   A special goody bag from the No Running Party sponsored by my plantar fasciitis (which is No Fun) is that I learned I LOVE TO SWIM.  Go figure.  A lot of strong athletes shy away from triathlon because of the swimming component.  Of the 3 sports, swimming can be the most daunting.  There’s this little thing called drowning and another minor possibility – getting clobbered.  But if you believe that fear is lies you can learn to find some Zen in the lap lane.  Here’s what’s working for me: 1.  Invest in really good no-fog goggles. ($39.99)

My daughter said I look like a nerd.  It’s a good thing I no longer care about such things. 2.  (Men cover your eyes) Ladies – get a bikini wax.  The lap lane is no place to be self-conscious about your – ahem – hairline. 3.  Keep a gym pack packed with these essentials:  bath towel, favorite shampoo and conditioner, hair brush, lotion, minimally stocked make-up bag for the days you need to be somewhere after a swim.  For those of us not blessed with a lap pool in our back yard, the process of going for a lap swim at the gym can hardly seem worth it for all the stuff to pack and remember.  Minimize the prep by stocking your gym bag with some essentials.  Better yet – have a designated swim bag separate from your regular workout satchel.   Make sure it’s waterproof. 4.  Invite a swimming friend to accompany you. It makes you accountable.  You swim at your own level.  There’s hardly opportunity for talking as you focus on not drowning.  Making a date greatly increases your chances to make it happen. These two friends look like they are having fun.  Makes for great bonding.

4.  Get lost in the repetition of the stroke.  You body knows what to do.  Before you know it you are solving problems and finding inner peace as you rack up lap after lap.  It’s the ‘swim zone’.  Don’t interrupt if you find me there.
5.  Really absorb the great benefits of swimming.  Know what a great thing you are doing for yourself.  It motivates.
A great article says that in the lap lane you will find new strength, enhanced energy and a more youthful sense of well-being.  You will find yourself looking a feeling younger.  That right there is some Zen.  Makes the hairballs almost bearable.
6.  Keep a record of your progress.  When I first started a few weeks ago I could hardly swim 2 consecutive laps without a break at the end of a lane.  The other day I swam 56 total laps with 40 of them consecutive.  Not Ironman material but better than nothing.
I am still Married to My Yoga but I have found a very nice friend in Swimming.
Made any  new friends lately?

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