So 3 triathlons were entered for 2006, I am 35 years of age and didn’t really have much idea what it was all about but new firstly I had to get myself to the pool!!!!
Off I went to my local pool (Central), I had goggles and a swim hat & I hadn’t been to a swimming pool since I was 21. I got to pool side and there was a couple of guys chatting at the end of one of the lanes. I got in the empty lane next to them & off I went………
What I thought was Freestyle was coughing and spluttering my way to the other end. When I got to the end, absolutely puffing, panting and feeling like I’d drowned, I noticed these boards at the end for the speed of the lane…..😱
OMG I was in the Olympic Lane -Central pool’s lanes went slow lane, medium lane, fast lane, Olympic lane for the super fast and then hard shoulder which was for those not fast enough for the slow lane. Realising my mistake I quickly ducked under the rope into the hard shoulder!!! 😬
Now I don’t have much memory of what I did in the hard shoulder as it is all a traumatic blur but afterwards one of the guys that had been standing at the end of the fast lane caught me outside and started chatting. I explained what I was up to and this is what he said “yeah we saw you coming in and we both said, oh she’s fit, we saw you getting into the Olympic Lane and we said oh she must be good, then when we saw you swim we both said oh maybe not!” How mortifying!!!! 😩
So anyone who knows me well, know I am very determined and never give up! So I went home and the first thing I did was Google (yes the internet had been invented by then) Freestyle Stroke and the first thing that grabbed my attention and made me think ahhhhh interesting! Was breathe out into the water!!! Well I never knew this, I was trying to breathe out and in when my head came out the water. Back when I was a kid learning to swim, technique was not taught to me, we just had to get across the distance and you got your badge for that distance which you proudly sewed onto our swimming costumes, which eventually got filled up with these badges awards!
Anyway another thing happened, that evening a friend of mine was coming round for a take away curry (something we did every so often to catch up) so I told him my mortifying swimming story & he came back with “Jennie, I can help you, I use to be a lifeguard.” Well what a stroke of luck! Maybe I will master this freestyle malarkey with my friends help after all…………🏊🏼♀️👍🏼
Next episode The Bike drama & my first Open Water Swim