I get a little bit bigger and a little bit slower every day, but I know it's temporary. I have been practicing a lot of positive self-talk, letting myself know that I'm doing great and whatever I can do now will help significantly when I am ready to get back into competitive-athlete shape.
But still. As an athlete for 30+ years, I don't want to be slow. I don't want to lose muscle and gain fat. But my body has other priorities right now, and I have to respect that.
|About two-dozen practice suits|
that I don't fit into right now.
I shared a lane with a man while I was doing a stretch-out/recovery swim shortly after I ran the Harrisburg Marathon. I was really slow that day, and rightfully so. When I stopped at the end of the lane between sets, he said, "Wow, when I get into shape, I hope I can keep moving like you do and be half as fast."
He had no idea I was pregnant, no idea I was significantly slower than my norm, no idea I was recovering from a marathon. He just saw a person swimming smoothly and confidently lap after lap. I was stuck in my head about being big and slow, so it was a nice reprieve to see myself from a different point of view.
Not that I need others to validate me. Not that I need to compare myself to other swimmers to validate myself. Most of my favorite workouts are the ones where it's just me racing the clock. But I don't live and swim in a bubble, and it helps to have others to push and motivate and inspire and give new perspectives.
So maybe I am bigger and slower, and maybe that's frustrating sometimes, but it's just a new kind of challenge that will make me mentally (if not physically) stronger.
[I just can't bring myself to end this post without saying that near the end of my set this morning, I finally noticed that the woman keeping pace with me was wearing fins, and that made me feel significantly better. Haha.]