The truth is, I never learned how to swim properly. I won't drown in the deep end, but it took ages to learn how to keep my head underwater without water getting up my nose (ages, because I rarely swam, because I didn't really know how).
For a while last year, I was in pretty decent shape. I took odd jobs, and they usually involved crazy hours, lots of walking, lots of lifting, or a combination of all three. Every one of them was fun, and I felt good. It had something to do with getting more exercise since mandatory gym class stopped after grade 10. I even fixed up my dad's old bike and entertained the notion of doing something big in 2009, like participating in a 200 km charity bike ride, or competing in a half-triathlon (a competition covering only half the distances of a real triathlon).
Before you think I was getting a little ahead of myself, this was how I rationalized it:
-I can bike
-I can run
-I can't swim, but I would work on my endurance until my ability was sufficient for competing.
Today was Day 2 of Operation Sink Or Swim. I was feeling optimistic. The bike ride felt good, so that may have had something to do with it. Anyway, my optimism deflated as soon as I walked into the building. I was glancing through the windows to the pool and I saw some woman adjust her goggles. Oh no! I thought. I forgot my goggles! As if I needed an excuse to flake out.
"This is going to be a short outing," I said to the lady at the front desk, "even by my standards." She laughed like she had no idea what I was talking about.
I went into the change-room, once again crammed with naked Asian men. In the two days I've been there, I've seen only two other non-Asians. I find that odd. Don't people from other backgrounds like to swim? Anyway, this time I remembered to bring quarters, so I got myself a locker. Yay.
The lack of goggles didn't affect me that much. Sure, my eyes stung after every lap, but I had other things on my mind. I needed to regulate my breathing better, and I was probably the loudest person in the pool with the way my arms were going.
I swam way more than I did on Monday (which wasn't very hard to do), and I'm actually looking forward to Friday morning. I still suck, but I need to do this if I'm ever going to do any kind of triathlon. 8 days left on the swim pass.