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.
It’s crazy to think that I’m already starting on Week 3, and word has certainly leaked out about this “little” swim project I’m doing.
I’ve had several reporters approach me at Redskins Park to say they’ve followed this blog, and the Redskins Executive Director of Communications, Zack Bolno, has taken to calling me “Aquaman.”
But, for all the fun that goes into people talking with me about the blog and congratulating me on this effort, today it was time to get things started up again, this time in new surroundings. For the first time since I started this project, I worked with Curl-Burke coach Jeff King at a new location, Mantua Swim and Tennis Club in Fairfax. That meant one new, fun thing: I was swimming outdoors.
The positive: fresh air and sun. The negative: the sun isn’t out when we first start and the water is cold.
(I definitely remember the cold water from my Stratford days, and so will any coach who remembers trying to get me into the pool at a morning practice. It wasn’t easy. I would literally grip onto the fence next to the pool and hold with all my might until a coach was strong enough to rip me off and throw me in. You can tell I was a cooperative kid, can’t you?)
In all seriousness, Jeff is really starting to push me more in the pool, and I love it. I’m exhausted during the workout. I have these crazy conversations with myself as I nearly drown trying to do a 100 kick with no fins asking myself if I should quit right then, and I feel like my chest is going to explode sometimes during breath control. But all in all, I know it’s for the better and as soon as I step out of the pool I feel great for having made it through the morning.
Today I did pretty much the same workout as three other swimmers that were there, though I admit I did stop a couple times for fin malfunctions (they kept sliding off on turns, though Jeff gave me a tip that should help me tomorrow), and the other three ended with a bunch of stuff I would die trying to do. I felt discouraged at times with how tired I was and the adjustments I had to make in order to finish the workout, but afterward Jeff gave me some words of encouragement and let me know I should be excited that I am working out with other swimmers and making it out alive.
A quick workout summary, with just yardage (I don’t want to give away exact workouts without talking to Jeff…the man does get paid to give these workouts. Trust me, I wrote the check and haven’t filed for expenses yet).
Warm-Up – 500 swim/kick only
Breath Control work w/ Fins- 675 swim, 300 kick
Stroke work: 500 swim.
Warm Down: 100 swim.
For me, the toughest stuff has definitely been making sure my stroke stays right when I’m tired…and believe me that’s not easy when you’re doing breath control. But now that I look at what I did today, I feel pretty good about it. It was definitely the most I’ve done since I started this whole thing. Now, how will I feel when we do it again tomorrow?…
I also found some old ribbons at my parents’ house. I took a few pictures trying to show almost all the blues and nothing else, but that’s not realistic. I have plenty of non-blue, first place ribbons: red (second), white (third) and others (fourth-ninth). In the picture above, the blues are hiding a bunch of the not-so-impressive ribbons, but I’m the photographer so I made myself look good by showing you the blues.
The fastest time I found was as a 14-year old in 2000: 31.30. I stopped keeping the ribbons once I hit 16, so I don’t know what the times were my last two years swimming for Stratford. At least I have the 31.30 to shoot for now.
Oh, I weighed myself this morning. I’m down another four pounds to 185. I’ve walked around all day thinking I had been at 186 and had only dropped a pound, and just now as I was writing this blog realized it was another four! Woohoo! Pretty awesome. That just made my day!
I figure this is my last big weight loss. In the coming weeks as I keep building my muscle and stop losing a ton of water weight, I may actually see some weight GAIN. So I am soaking this one in.
I haven’t had a chance to get to the gym to do my Body Fat Percentage, but I’ll post that later this afternoon and again tomorrow morning. My BMI (which I hate because it calls me overweight and all it does is take height and weight and turn it into a formula without asking about how athletically built I might be, whether I’m a guy or girl, or really anything at all. How scientific can it really be? And I mean, c’mon who wants to be called overweight by some small print referenced by asterisk in a graphic in the Washington Post…whew) is now 26.5 down from 27.1 last week and 27.6 to start. Here’s hoping the body fat percentage is also lower.
So here are the numbers:
July 20: Weight- 193, Waistline- 36, BMI- 27.6, Body Fat Percentage- 17.7
July 27: Weight- 189, Waistline- 36, BMI- 27.1, Body Fat Percentage- 16.6
Aug. 03: Weight- 185, Waistline- 36, BMI- 26.5, Body Fat Percentage- 15.6