young man, there’s no need to feel down

I went out and joined the YMCA yesterday. Been planning to do it for a while. It’s right down the street from me (in fact it’s directly between me and work). More importantly, while I get a good workout from martial arts, my cardio/aerobic conditioning is pretty poor right now and needs to be improved. Problem: I hate to run. I mean I hate it. Bleh, never have liked it, never will. Swimming on the other hand, I enjoy. So the plan is to go swimming every other day at the Y (as we in the know say). Plus they have great facilities and offer Capoeria (a Brazilian martial art that resembles a dance), yoga and pilates classes (which are free with membership).

This morning I went for my first swim. I dragged my sorry butt outta bed ’round 6.30, had a light breakfast, threw a bag together and headed out to the Y. As a bit of background, I grew up on the water. By my last year of high school, I was living on a canal. Every summer weekday until I was 16 was spent at swimming and sailing lessons. I completed the lifeguard-training course (but never took the test). However, since I moved to Rochester, I’ve spent very little time on the water. That being said, I think I’m probably in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I eat very well and get a full body workout a couple times a week. Or at least that’s what I thought… This morning I confidently walked to the pool, planning to get in at least five laps of each of the three major strokes (freestyle, side, breast). One freestyle lap later, out of breath and body aching, I decided it’s time to re-evaluate my plan. I made it through 2 free style laps and decided it was time to shift stokes. Each stroke brings into play different muscle groups (breast stroke, for example, works your lats more than the other strokes). Well, I didn’t realize how unconditioned I really am and after one lap of each of the remaining strokes I decided it was time to quit.

I’m not upset about the experience. The cool part was that I could really feel it working muscle groups (which is what I need). Plus I have a goal to work to (like getting a solid two laps of each stroke in as a next step).