Washington Post reporter Paul Tenorio will train with a swim club over the next few months and chronicle his journey as he attempts to transform from regular guy/sports reporter to competitive swimmer — everything from his waistline to his best times.
Some people are afraid of spiders: arachnophobia.
Some people are afraid of flying: aerophobia.
Some people are afraid of being lapped in a 100-yard freestyle swim and then having to write about it in a public forum: Sullivanophobia.
As if my weight, waistline and body fat percentage weren’t enough, I woke up this morning to an email from my coach, Jeff King.
“Pat is coming in tomorrow for a timed swim I told him you were as well,” the email read. “The race is on.”
I pinched myself, hoping I was still sleeping and this was just a nightmare. Nope. This was for real.
Seriously, though, I am excited about getting into the pool and swimming for time. But doing it next to a First Team All-Met selection, Pat Sullivan, who won the Metros title in the 50 freestyle with an automatic All-American time of 20.86 and finished second in the 100 free with an automatic All-American time of 46.13…now that’s scary.
My swims last Monday were in meters but the yard conversions are: 34.65 and 1:17.91, respectively. He is 14.65 seconds faster in the 50 and a whopping 31 seconds faster in the 100.
This one’s going to hurt worse than seeing my weight listed at 193 pounds in print last Tuesday.
Tomorrow is an important day because it brings to light one of swimming’s most important aspects: goal-setting. More so than many sports, swimming is the ultimate sport for placing a goal in front of you and working to achieve it. What is more palpable than saying I want to cut 10 seconds off my times and trying to achieve it? I’ll have the measurement right in front of me tomorrow after my swim.
This is so important for someone like me. The biggest personal gain I’ve had in this project is the rekindling of my competitive spirit, and setting goals and working my butt off to achieve them makes me feel like I’m right back into the world of being an every day athlete. It’s great.
I told Jeff how nervous I was to swim in front of all the age group swimmers who are obviously very good at what they do. After just a week and a half in the pool I can’t expect to be racing the way they do. But Jeff told me that no matter how fast or slow each swimmer is, being in the pool all these mornings working toward our own goals bonds each of us. And for that reason, everyone will be behind me when I swim.
Let’s hope so.
And hey, since I’m an optimistic person, I’ll say that swimming next to Pat may make me go faster — at least for the first 25 when he’s still in my sights.
Seriously though, I’ve got the nervous butterflies just thinking about my timed swim tomorrow, and I hope to report a major difference.
Today was a dry-land day. Quick summary of my workout:
Jump rope: 30 seconds jump, 30 rest; 35 jump, 25 rest and so on all the way up to one minute.
Resistance training: 30 reps on several shoulder workouts, biceps and triceps.
One mile run: 7:30 timing.
Stretch: 10 minutes.
After my workout, I headed over to Sport Fair in Arlington and made some purchases. I picked up a mesh bag so I fit in with the other swimmers, a swim cap (why not, maybe it’ll help me shed a half-second tomorrow!), new goggles (thanks to my good friend and former Jeff King swimmer Corey Inglee for the suggestion of TYR Socket Rockets) and some paddles.
I’m turning more and more into a swimmer every day. Ha.
Tomorrow is the beginning of real life and swimming butting heads. It’s the first day of training camp, so I’ll go straight from the locker room in Alexandria out to the press room in Ashburn for two-a-days. We’ll see how I hold up. Hopefully I get back at a decent hour tonight from the Washington Freedom game at the Maryland SoccerPlex and get at least five solid hours of sleep. We’ll see.