Sunday, 21 August 2011

What it feels like to be in lane 7: thrown to the lions

If you're a regular reader of this blog you'll know that a couple of posts back I set a personal swimming squad goal to move from the slow lane 8  to the faster lane 7. The really fast squad members swim in lane 6 (a no-go zone). 

To cut a short story really short, I believe I've been promoted to lane 7 well ahead of my predicted goal of July 2012. 

Why? That's the question I asked myself when my coach Mr Nice Guy told me to scoot over to lane 7 on Monday. 

I reasoned that it was a quiet morning, with some squad members not attending because they'd run in the City2Surf, Australia's major annual fun run that attracts 85,000 participants, the day before. 

I thought I could handle lane 7 in the absence of the "gun" swimmers. I coped pretty well by hanging at the back of the group which is where I belong.

On Wednesday I slinked back into lane 8 only to be told to move across to 7. It was a busier session and the guns were back. "Why are you kicking me out?" I asked Mr Nice Guy. I may as well have added: "...of my comfort zone" to the question. 

Sometimes I ask dumb questions. I already knew his answer. Lane 7 would make me fitter and, hopefully, faster.

The problem is I feel like I've been thrown to the lions. This lane 7 mob are fast, plus they cheat a bit by not always following the time repeats. I feel like I'm thrashing around just trying to keep up because they're not stopping at the wall when they're supposed to.

On Friday I tried to sneak into lane 8 again but was discovered by the Boss Man coach who only comes to the pool on Fridays to bestow his swimming wisdom upon us. I jumped into lane 7 quick smart. No one argues with the Boss Man.

So it looks like I'm in the middle group of swimmers for good if I continue to make three squad sessions a week. I'm quietly freaking out because I'm the oldest person in that lane by a good couple of years. I'm also the loudest. One thing I've noticed as I've grown older is that I don't care as much about what people think of me. I can be a right pain but who cares apart from everyone else in the lane?  Maybe I can wear/slow them down that way!

PS: If you read my last post about The Hiss and her netball team Motley Crew (MC) making it into next week's grand final, you'll know the Systemic Catholic Girls (SCG) had to fight it out with another team in a play-off this weekend. Amazingly the other team, Rough as Guts (RAG) beat SCG. This means MC plays RAG next Saturday. It's gonna be bigger than Ben Hur. More on this amazing event next week. 


Richard said...

Well done ... I think ... Did this really happen ? Either you have been underestimating your ability, or it's the start of a new swimming fiction.

Richard said...

Sounds like a book I'm reading, by a US endurance swimming legend ... "The swimmers on the team were much more intense, even in lane two. No one stopped in the middle of a set and talked. Everyone was serious. Worse than that, I was always the last one to finish in lane two."

Shayne said...

That's my story! Joking.

But no one talks except those of us up the back who bonded in lane 8.

Let's wait and see how my pool progress works in an ocean swim.

Anonymous said...

I can see only very large swell at the start of races will help me hold my place this season. Dc