I have posted previously about pushing my comfort zone. I have to admit – switching over to the swimmers lane had me…worried. But having been there awhile– I love it! And it has, in large part, to do with the people I swim with. I have always enjoyed who I am swimming with while at Dynamo, but for me jumping from the tri side to the swimmers’ side was…anxiety provoking. So it was a good move for me. Not that the triathlete lanes are bad. Far from it – I met fabulous people there that have helped me grow and progress, and, like now, was in a good place. This has been a natural and slow (> 2 years) progression.
I swim mostly with women – most men and MANY women (not trying to categorize people/abilities here…just sayin’ what it is in the pool) are faster. Our lane just so happens to be only women. We are the slowest swimmers lane, and we hold our own. We aren’t out for a Sunday leisure swim!
There have been few times where there are fewer people in a lane to our right or left, and we pile in 4+ people in our lane. In fact, just Friday (2/21) we had 4 in our lane and no one was to our left. And yet I know I never entertained the idea of switching to the empty lane.
One time I went to swim at lunch at Dynamo (I am usually at the 5:45 a.m. swim). I had a lane to myself while four women shared a lane and circle swam. I felt guilty for having my own lane, and didn’t get it. But, having been part of a great swim group, I get it now. What I saw was similar to what I experience with my friends at the morning swim. it is why we can have 4-6 people in a single lane and no one complains. In short, it is because there is a camaraderie…no…friendship…among us in our lane.
Many (I say many because we have people who come and go – are there some days, and not others, while there is a core group of us that are there almost all the time) of the women in our lane have been swimming together for years (10+), and several in higher lanes have “come through” our lane. I have listened to some of the stories and a little of the history of those who have been swimming there. They have been through pregnancies, coaches, and life events. They are just there for each other. It’s just one of those things that you hear about and…are grateful to be a part of.
We like swimming together. Things “work out.” I may be oblivious, but there is a pragmatic approach in our lane: if someone is faster in a certain area (stroke, kick, or use of specific swim equipment) we re-adjust our order. I am always chasing someone faster; or know that someone about my speed (Cindy and I are neck and neck) is on my toes so I can’t slack off one bit. if Cindy is ahead of me I know she is setting the standard and I have to chase her. It’s all very practical.
I enjoy swim, but this particular group of ladies makes swim even more enjoyable for me.
There are two women, Cindy and Jennifer that, to me, have been the reason why I am enjoying the transition so much, and will be the reasons why I learn and improve. From when I first came over they welcomed me, introduced me to others, and have kept me going.
In about December or so I started speaking a lot with Mariane (she joined our lane around then). She is friendly and is happy to engage in dialogue when we get an opportunity, making her easy to get to know a little. She’s a swimmer and often is our lane “engine” .
Jennifer and Cindy are funny. Early on they said I will “love ‘em and leave ‘em” like others who have gotten faster and moved up a lane or two. Well, I can guarantee that won’t happen for a bit…lots of work to do. And …I like where I am. They are helping me figure things out: swim form as well as learning a history of Dynamo and people who swim there. If I happen to have to go to an afternoon or evening swim I mention who I swim with in the morning and inevitably someone knows Cindy or Jennifer and we start talking from there. Really getting to know people who have swam at Dynamo for so long has let me see it as more than just a place to swim. There’s history, and memories, and challenges and friendship. And it’s fantastic.
So, this post is just to say – yet again – I have found a terrific group of people. Sometimes you just know you are in the right place for you. In the pool, and in many other areas of my life, I am. Here I am simply calling out the swim portion. And to specific call out to Jennifer and Cindy, as well as Skippy, Cici, Susan, Pam, Nancy, Rachel, Linda, Anne Marie and others I am sure I am forgetting, as well as more recently (since she is newer to Dynamo than me!) Mariane, who helped make a transition that seemed scary become a place where I continue to feel very comfortable and look forward to going every day I get to swim.