Monday, March 30, 2009

Swim Meet

So Sunday was the last day of the first TriFitness session of the year. The coaches decided to make it into a swim meet. When I heard about this I was really, really displeased. I'm not into swimming for short speed events. I want to swim long, at a good pace and do it well. Also, I've never competed in swimming so I had no idea what it'd be like and that freaked me out.

Luckily, a girl I swim with, Jen, is a newbie too. She's pretty much as clueless as I am when it comes to all this. When they told us we'd have to jump into the pool at the start just like a real swim meet, we looked at each other in horror. When they placed us in our heats we were, of course, both first in our lane.

The first race was 50 yard fist drill, that is swimming with your hands as fists. My fists, by the way, are tiny. I came in second to last. Next race, catch-up drill using the "drowning stick". I was pissed. I have to do the drill I suck at the most as fast as I can? Again I came in second to last. At this point my body felt like Jell-O. I was pushing myself as much as I could and ending up still far behind. Third race, 100 yard freestyle. Finally something I felt like I could do before the races started. Now I was already pumped full of adrenaline and anxiety.

Jen had an early lead next to me, as I got to the end of the pool my turn around was faster. "Alright," I thought, "maybe I can actually do this." Halfway across the pool I realized, my form was totally wrong, I had let the adrenaline and drive to go fast totally take over. I hit the other end of the pool, turned around. This is when it's all a blur. All I knew was that I could hear myself gasping, the awful sound I only make when I have an asthma attack. Fuck. I got to the other side of the pool. "One more length, that's it. Do it." I struggled and gasped and was generally freaking out. Dead last. I threw my goggles on the ground and walked as fast as I could to the locker room.

My body was shaking, I wanted to vomit and break down crying, and most of all I wanted to breathe. I fumbled with my lock, threw my purse contents about the locker until I found my inhaler. Everything was spinning. I was freaking out so much the first spray went onto my tongue, I didn't even breathe in. Second attempt, success. I could feel my throat relaxing. Another spray, my head cleared enough to see straight again. I helped time the rest of the races. The old men on my heat kept saying, "C'mon Heather, just race." "Um no, I had an asthma attack." They all seemed like that was no big deal.

I was still feeling sick and shaky, and it felt like no one fucking believed me. I wondered if I just let myself puke like I wanted to do if they'd get it then. The coach told me I looked really pale and asked if I was okay. I told her I'd be fine in a bit. I was so disappointed watching everyone swim. I know it wasn't a real competition and it was just for fun. That didn't stop me from feeling like I should have done better, or worrying if I can really do a triathlon if I can't even do a few small races.

From this point forward, I'll be taking my Advair again. It's a preventative, expensive, asthma medication. I don't like to use it, but I also don't want another asthma attack. This was the first real attack where I felt totally out of control and felt sick for hours after. I wanted to be hugged and comforted, I felt so feeble and just really sad and disappointed. Lame.

To end on a high note, I apparently smoked everyone at the doggy paddle. As a final race and a joke, they had us do a doggy paddle relay. I decided I could at least pull myself through a 25 yard paddle, since it's the one thing I know I can do and there's no right way to do it. When it was my time to go, everyone was way behind me. People were slightly amazed. Of course, how like me, to be good at the most bizarre thing. Maybe I should doggy paddle my way through the triathlon.


Jana Victoria April 7, 2009 at 2:05 AM  

Oh this is really sad... i hope you're okay already.