The Swimmer

Olympic swimmer, Ryan Lochte, at 2012 games in London.

Olympic swimmer, Ryan Lochte, at 2012 games in London.

2013 is setting up as a year of pushing boundaries and skirting limits. It’s all about embracing new things and recognizing fresh possibilities.

By the time you read this, I’ll be wrapping up my first swim lesson with my new coach.

In 2010, my lovely wife, Mary, decided that she was tired of all the smack-talking that her co-workers were doing about competing in a triathlon. She decided that she was going to show them what the Mary Baumer Experience was all about. That June she participated in her first sprint triathlon. Since then, she’s completed five sprints and last August, she completed her first Olympic-length triathlon.

I’ve been a spectator at all but one of these, including last June’s Pirate Triathlon, when I was a member of Mary’s tri posse; I got to take care of the 14 mile bike portion, Mary crushed the ⅓ mile swim, and a friend brought the event home with a 3.1 mile run.

In January, after returning to the gym in order to shave 15-20 pounds off my burgeoning frame, I got the crazy idea that this ought to be the year for me to ramp up my swimming enough to compete in and complete a sprint triathlon. Currently, doing two lengths in the pool is a challenge, so I’m in need of a swimming intervention to make this happen.

Mary has been training with a group of women called sheJAMS since last year. She thought that I’d benefit from having one of their coaches, a world-class tri-athlete and in-demand instructor, point me in the right direction. At this point, I’m hoping she can work enough magic with me, and that I can master enough technique to muddle through my own swim in June.

I will complete these coaching sessions, attend a swim clinic in early March and then, I’ll just have to painstakingly build up my distance in the pool, much like I’ve been doing with my running since the first of the year.

Come June, I’m committed to becoming a tri-athlete for the first time in my life. I may even have to purchase a Speedo.