The Fragile Psyche of the Swimmer Turned Triathlete

I’ve had consecutive cancelled swims in my last two races. That’s a lot of handle for someone who is a swimmer because it starts to get in your head. What can I say…my psyche is a little fragile when it comes to my water?

It was hard getting in the pool after the first incident. I think I managed to bring myself to do a 5 am workout maybe a dozen times for the three months preceding Ironman Maryland. I dragged serious ass getting there and when I made it I was never really into it. I know there were a few times when I just said, “Fuck it,” and went home. Then came the fall.

At the end of December I was running with my usual group at night. There were some downed trees blocking the side walk so I ran around. I ended up catching the tip of my shoe on the dip by the curb and planted myself on a busy road during Atlanta rush hour. After that fall it took me another two months to work up the nerve to get back in the pool even though I could have much sooner.

It’s now the beginning of March and my first race of the season was in two and a half months. I had no pool time in 2017. Because I had a job that killed my old routine I was only managing to get in three days a week with about 1,800-2,500 yards a workout. That’s roughly half an hour for me. Do you have any idea how hard it is to drag myself down to the pool to be in it for thirty minutes? That’s like saying I’m going to run for 2 miles.

From that point I managed to get in enough yards to bring me back to near peak shape and then came the race. I wasn’t as crushed as I was the first time I had it cancelled, but it still stuck in my craw. The fallout would come on Monday.

Monday I went to the pool and forgot my goggles. Wednesday the heat had been cut off so the pool was freezing. Sometimes I won’t even go because to me if the time in the pool is less than the travel time I consider it a waste and likely won’t go. There’s always going to be an excuse not to swim because I’m searching for one. I’m just not ready.

At the end of the day having those swims cancelled feels discouraging. I feel fractured in a sense that I continue to put in the preparation but never get to see the results. Something was taken from me and it’ll take a while to pick up the pieces. Time must pass before swimming goes back to being fun & relaxing rather than an obligation I must drudge myself through. It’ll be a long road to travel in order to rekindle my love affair with the black line.


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