So I am a water baby, makes sense since I am a Pisces I guess. I can not remember a time I did not swim, I took swimming lessons as a child and grew up in a city with lots of lakes. My best summer memories were swimming in the many Dartmouth lakes with my friends. Eventually I joined a swim team in Jr High and I loved it. Whatever level you are in there is an order to things, you start in the slowest lane as the slowest swimmer and work your way to being the fastest swimmer in that lane and then move up to the next lane, again the slowest. I remember after I moved up a lane once, the lead swimmer made some rude comment that I was so slow and perhaps granny needed a walker, he was 11 and I was 14. That memory was buried deep in my memory bank until Monday.
I joined a master swim team in January, so it has not been quite 2 months yet but I am getting back into it. Again I started in the slowest lane and worked my way up and 3 weeks ago I was moved up a lane, I was thrilled. Most of the swimmers in my new lane are Triathletes and only do front crawl, in fact I am the only swimmer in my lane who can do all 4 strokes. When we do front crawl, I am the slowest, it is not my best stroke but when we do any other stroke, I am second of third in the lane. Monday was a tough practice, we were doing 3x200 sets, not my favorite. I am very aware of my shortcoming in front crawl so if I am causing a bit of a traffic jam of swimmers behind me, I step out and wait until they pass. Imaging my surprise when a swimmer came up to me Monday and said perhaps I should go back to the slow lane as I was holding them up too much. I was shocked and hurt, I did not know what to do. It was almost the end of the practice so I hung in there and finished.
Today I started in my lane after checking the board, we were starting with anything but front crawl, I was safe. My calf muscles were really sore today, they are still causing me issues and a massage yesterday really hurt this morning. When we moved on to 3x100 front crawl sets, I moved over to the slower lane. I was afraid I could not make the timings with my sore muscles and I did not want to cause problems again today. Well you know what, I did it in the time for my lane each and every time. I was good enough to be there! I was so afraid of being in the way and I was selling myself short. The only way to get faster is to push myself, not take the easy out and move to a slower lane. Never again am I going to allow myself to be intimidated by another swimmer, if my coach thinks I am good enough, that is all that matters to me. Everyone has to star somewhere so lets support others and encourage others, not put them down.