And she’s back in the pool! “She” being me speaking in the third person. Because whoever that was in the water today sure as hell wasn’t me! That was until some woman walked over to me, panting on the wall, and said, “Oh hi Wendy! Nice to see you here.” Dammit. it was me. Ok, I should explain. I’m a swimmer! I have been since I was 7 years old. My closet growing up was decorated with blue ribbons, gold medals and pictures of my many many swim teams. I SWIM. I’M A BADASS IN 20121207-181707.jpgTHE POOL….and now I’m 40.  Apparently, that changes things up a bit. My last true swim workouts ended back in June when I completed my half ironman triathlon up in Oregon. And as many of you know, I’m now on the hunt for my next big race. And while I figure out what am training for, I thought I would shake off the cobb webs and get in a quick pool workout. My first lap was good. And I should have quit right there. BUT I’M A SWIMMER! I can do more than 25 yards. Well, by lap 16 (just 400 yards) I had to stop and stretch! The backs of my arms were so tight I could barely pull my elbow up above my head. And my heart was pounding. Did I think there was a shark in the pool? That’s how fast my heart was beating! So after I caught my breath, I pushed off the wall to see how bad things really were. Normally, I’m a 19 stroke gal. That means it takes me 19 strokes to do one lap. Today? 23!!!! Let me put this into golf perspective for you. That’s like hitting a 5 on every hole of a par 3 executive course. So at the end of 18, you’ve swung 36 more times than you needed to! I was stroking hundreds of times more than I needed to! That’s called not being efficient… or totally out of shape, whichever.   And if that wasn’t bad enough… I just had to do it. I just had to attempt butterfly! That’s my stroke. That’s where all those blue ribbons in my closet came from. I CAN DO BUTTERFLY! Except today. Instead of gliding through the water like a dolphin, I was like an elephant pulling a piano. I honestly wasn’t sure my arms would actually come out of the water during my final stroke to the wall. My heart was beating so fast NOW it was as if that shark was actually biting my leg. It was at this point I started to fantasize about stretching! I’m as limber as a tree trunk, but I just thought, “If I could just swim back to my towel, I can get out and go stretch. Stretching sounds fantastic right now. Anything sounds better right now than SWIMMING!!!!”  But I didn’t.  I stayed in the pool.  Why?  Because I didn’t want another “first” workout.  The “first” workout always sucks.  Unused, lazy muscles, the ones that have become happy to slightly sag… are being whipped back into shape… screaming and fighting the whole time.  I bet that’s why so many new year’s resolutions to get back into shape don’t last past Valentines Day.  The first workout SUCKS!  You say to yourself, “Hell no I’m not going to do that again.  It sucked!”  That’s why I’m glad I started swimming again before the start of the new year.  Because come January 1, when everyone else is gasping for air, swearing they’re going to stick to their workout resolution THIS TIME, I’ll be gliding through the water as a 19 stroke gal once again!


About Wendy D

I was born in San Francisco and ended up marrying a rancher in Reno, Nevada. I have a big city job anchoring the 5 o’clock news but come home to the country where my husband’s family has ranched for 5 generations.


  1. Linda says:

    Oh my gosh Wendy….you have told “my” story. I swam for 13 years, my dad was my coach his dad was his coach. They are both inducted in the Washington State Swimming Hall of Fame.
    I was a distance swimmer….freestyle. I NOW have to do laps of breast stroke so I can BREATHE! Butterfly was my “second stroke”. That is usually my “first lap” as I AM a swimmer!

    I too have reunited with my passion….one stroke at a time!!

    • Wendy D says:

      Good for you Linda!!! It’s so great to be back in the pool.. Well it will be in a few weeks! Happy swimming!

  2. Darin says:

    Wendy I’ve got a new experience for you. If you’ve never been in a float tank it’s the most relaxing thing you can do for your mind and body. Check out my web site and if you think it would be something that might interest you, let me know, and you and a friend can experience a couples float on me. I guarantee the deepest relaxation ever.

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