Timid Arms

I signed up for swimming lessons not knowing what to expect. I’ve always been a decent swimmer, but know nothing about technique. I showed up for my first lesson a little nervous, a) because I’ve never taken a swimming lesson and b) because it’s February and my winter white skin is shockingly blinding to the eyes. I met my swim teacher, former Auburn swimmer Ava Ohlgren, and as usual my nerves unleashed a torrent of rapid-fire-TMI conversation that usually leaves the person I’m talking to a little dazed and confused. Ava is the kind of cool, laid back girl that makes me feel like I hover a little too close to the edge of dramatic and hysterical.

When I signed up for swim lessons, I was looking for a teacher who could simply show me the few basic techniques necessary for getting me through the open water swim fast and efficiently enough to avoid getting kicked around by the other triathletes, having a panic attack and if necessary, to out swim any terrifying and/or dangerous sea-life. What I am getting is quite a lot more. Here are a few of her resume highlights:

U.S.A. National Team for the World University Games (5 Gold Medals)

18-Time All-American

Two-time NCAA Champion (200 IM, 400 IM)

13-time SEC Champion (200 IM, 400 IM, 400 FR, 800 FR, 400 MR)

2007 SEC Freshman of the Year

 Her athleticism and success inspires me. Over the last month, my mind set has gone from “just get through the swim without any local news-making incidents,” to “kick that open swim’s ass!” My focus during this week’s swims will be my arm strokes. Apparently, I have what Ava calls “timid arms,” which means that my strokes are more graceful water ballerina than hard-core triathlete.  I find synchronized swimming impressive and fascinating, but I want to power through that water like a deep-sea game fish, although I would prefer not to run into any while I’m out there.

Once again, I will be base-building this week, which means being in the gym every day completing a bike ride, a run or a swim. I have two swims this week and they look something like this:

100 meters freestyle

200 meters left/right arm extensions, kicking on side

300 meters buoy pulls

100 meters catch-up

I can’t wait to get in the pool! What? Who am I? Am I really enjoying this? Yes! Nashville has a great asset in the Green Hills YMCA Aquatics department. Her name is Ava and she will turn you into a real swimmer.

Next: Anti-chlorine hair products and Week 3 inspiration



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