Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Self Examined Swimmer: Part I

You know the saying "there's no I in team"? Well there is an I in Fisher, but more importantly, there's also a "fish." Those credentials combined with rock solid abs and skills make Triple Threat team member Dave Fisher (Connecticut) the perfect fit to talk swimming for triathletes.


The Self Examined Swimmer Part I: The First Step is Admitting You (Don't) Have A Problem

Have you ever heard the term "adult onset swimmer"? The way it's worded I think it's supposed to imply that swimming is some sort of affliction brought on by age, and if you listen to most swimming adults complain about how 'lousy' they are, you'd be hard pressed to disagree. I imagine a room full of adults in swimwear sitting in a church assembly room somewhere solemnly standing up and saying something like this:

"Hi, my name is Dave, and I've been swimming lousy for 5 years."

"Hi, Dave," says the room full of swimmers.

"I joined Adult Onset Swimmer Anonymous, after I started swimming in triathlons. When I started swimming, I did it just to get to the bike, and could barely make it across a pool..."
I'll stop, because most of you could probably fill in the story from there. By my estimation, adults who swim regularly are either part of a masters group, a triathlete, or both, which I'll bucket as a master for purposes of delineation. Among triathletes, most say they swim 'lousy', with the definition of 'lousy' being anyone who believes they swim 'slowly', which is to say they don't swim as fast as the folks at the front in a given race. This is of course a poor interpretation of statistics - show me the 'slowest' Olympic runner and I'll show you a pretty speedy individual - but when we're talking about triathletes (which we are) then we're talking about people that don't settle for adequacy if they see room for improvement. If you're coming out in the back of the pack, then the prescription is simple...just swim more. Really. You'll get to the middle that way. Come back and finish this article after you've been swimming for a while. Still here? Ok, if you're regularly competing in triathlons, you're not slow, you're pretty darn fit, and you're among a very small group of people who use a pool for fitness. Be proud of that, and try to realize you're a swimmer, not just a triathlete who happens to swim. Let's leave behind the term 'lousy' , replace it with 'adequate', and get to defining 'good' and 'excellent'. Deep breath. Feel better? Now that you're a swimmer, let's talk....

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