Monday, 2 May 2011


i am exasperated by not finishing up my posts. when i go back to them even a day later, the tone sounds all wrong and i need to start afresh. then the voice in the back of my mind starts telling me, if it feels like that, it has no place being published. so i let it do the other -ish, instead - languish - in the void. this one is unlikely to be any better, unlikely to suffer a better fate. but as always, i am optimistic about things when i start. so here goes.

swimming has been the big discovery this summer. i am inspired to attempt this by several young people surrounding me. one is the monster, who bears with a sudden onset of sunburn (she didn't used to burn last year, but does, in a jiffy, this year. despite sunblock), and crazy parents, and still enjoys it immensely. two is MSB, who would have run a relay yesterday in anticipation of the ironman, to come in future years.

i am not looking at a triathlon, ever. my 15-day birthday challenge also seems to have indicated that i am not looking at a full marathon, ever. i did ok on the challenge. i completed the swimming and biking miles (which were ridiculously small). i did the abs/core very very diligently. but the running miles (which are of course my usual favourite), i slashed down drastically mid-way thanks to some whiny pain in my knees/shins/ankles. but as i looked back on it, i came to the conclusion that upping the swimming & biking wouldn't be amiss. especially the swimming, since biking still has impact on my knees, which then tend to sing, and get all stiff for the next morning's run.

its a family event now. the three of us. two bags (girls-1, boy-1). we drove around and procured extra swimsuits now to commemorate gaining of some momentum on that front. i resisted the temptation to buy. i feel like my last speedo bought in january was too expensive. maybe not. it has been serving me well, i admit, although i think i have to switch back to the shorts style of suit as i absolutely loathe how the skirt lifts up.

where am i with my swimming? well, to those that don't know. i started to learn in my final year at college. the coach insisted that the breast stroke would be appropriate. i did that for 10 days diligently. i travelled super super slow with it. it was immensely irritating. i did not like the stroke at all, with its frog-like kick. i gave up when i went to the us, intimidated by all the locker room, and not knowing what to do before and after. when i was in mumbai, i was friends with these guys - twins - who were swimming coaches. they convinced me to give it a shot. i went. thankfully, it was freestyle and not the awful breast stroke. i did get dodderingly to some level of comfort. but i discontinued it again - it was too cold suddenly, i got pregnant (unrelated events). last year here in hot hotter chennai, monster & i signed up for classes. i attended about 70% of my lessons, due to various.

but since i am at that age when i feel reasonably confident about stuff, i decided to stick with it and give it a shot, by myself. the coach had given enough tips in the classes, and promised to help me out if i wanted (i feel too shy to ask though, as the financial arrangements are not clear). we saw some youtube videos. i made a mental list of all the things the coach told me to keep in mind. and now i manage to push myself a bit every time. mostly, i guess i am working on comfort levels and not being shit scared of the water (i really am, shit scared, of water up my nose and ears and drowning and looking like an ass and drinking chlorine and having to be rescued by hairy men in red shorts, and so on).

what do i like best? backstroke. which i am teaching myself. what do i need to do now? overcome the palpitations, develop some stamina, and swim laps.

over and out.


dipali said...

I like being in the water, but the whole process of changing in and out of costume is somehow so lazy -making that I swim far less than I think I will:(
I've never learned breast stroke,have little stamina, but get by with free style and some lazy laps of backstroke.
Happy swimming, Kenny.

Sangi said...

Swimming is pretty cool when you master the breathing. Then stamina gets into the picture....just being in the water is so relaxing that we love it. It's a family thing for us too, now that the kids swim laps and don't need the eagle eye parent watch.

I wanted to ping you for some running advice. Ran a marathon in San Diego 11 years ago now...timing's pathetic but I finished before they closed the gates. It's really difficult for me to run long distance and that's one thing I want to conquer. Any good book references for beginners? Any tips?

Used to be a sprinter in my prime but could not take that to Patiala for financial reasons. Distance has been a bug bear for years. Are there just types of bodies that are not built for running? Should I just be pragmatic and give up the idea of running atleast a half marathon without stopping? Help?

wordjunkie said...

Consider the butterfly stroke.. wonderfully strenuous, though not particularly graceful either. And you can always make your own variations on the breast stroke, right.. like surface to breathe after three strokes, not one.

I've sort of plateaued with my running.. do about three km at a snail like jog, and another half uphill.

And Kenny, am in Chennai and was wondering if we could meet up. Could you email me sometime.. i only have your old id.

the mad momma said...

i want to swim better than i do currently but the damn pool is full of termites (by which I mean kids who remind me of termites) and they keep kicking you in the face. Not very conducive to swimming.

madrasi said...

I still remember our instructor -- not his name.

he said "suck your mouth, dip your face..." before doing said breast stroke.