Everyone Has to Be a Newbie

When was the last time you did something new?

Do you remember how you felt leading up to that new adventure, activity, or challenge?

You probably went through a roller coaster of emotions.

The excitement.

The nerves.

The worries.

The fears.

The hopes.

How did you feel talking those first few steps?

And more importantly, how did you feel when you FINISHED?

I bet you felt pretty proud of taking the first steps.

And I can imagine you felt like the most amazing person in the world once you took the leap of faith to tackle that new adventure, activity,  or challenge?

If you’re an avid reader of my blog, you know that I’ve recently started training for a sprint triathlon.

To be honest, I am terrified.  In fact, I get butterflies in my stomach each and every time I see that commercial on TV of women getting ready to run into the water for their triathlon. I think the commercial for is for sunscreen. But honestly, I have no clue because I get so anxious when I see the incredibly fit women standing next to each other.

I’m not incredibly fit.

And sometimes that feels intimating when you’re competing in races with strong, powerful, and insane humans.

But the late Maya Angelou always said: No one is more human than you.

What does that mean?

Simply put, if someone else in this world can do something – YOU can do it too!

Training has been a little rocky. Admittedly, I haven’t made the time for training. Work has been insane. Cooper hasn’t been sleeping. All of my siblings seem to be graduating. And my best friend is getting married this week. And I am still recovering from my  back injury (I fell down the stairs with Cooper on vacation).

Are you sick of hearing my excuses? Me too.

So on Sunday, I had a NO MORE excuses revelation.

I’ll never have enough time.

Work will never be “easy.”

And Cooper, well, hopefully he starts sleeping. Until then, I shall drink buckets and buckets of coffee.

On Sunday, I went for my 6 mile bike ride.

Yesterday I rested.

And today, I tried something new. I went into the swimming pool – just as my training program requires me to do today.

I’ve had MANY intentions of getting my butt to the pool. But honestly, I let fear win.

And I always blamed something else for my inability to get into the pool.

A stressful day.

A sleepless night.

A forgetful mind.

A busy weekend.

Biking and running are my comfort zones. The pool, well that’s simply terrifying.

I reminded myself that everyone is a newbie at some point.

With my new mindset and motivation, I emailed Justin and told him about my workout plans.

“I’m afraid I’ll look like a giant turd!” I wrote to him. But alas, I was going to swim. I was FORCING myself to go.

Justin gave me a few tips and assured me that I would, in fact, NOT look like a giant turd.

Later in the evening, I dusted off my old swimsuit from Scuba Diving class in college. If you’ve been a long-time reader of my blog, YOU KNOW how much I struggled with that class.

So this swimsuit has been through many hard days and challenges with me.

College swimsuit still fits, SCORE!

College swimsuit still fits, SCORE!

 

I drove to the pool with a head full of nerves and worries.

Will I stand out as a rookie?

Will people know that I am new based on my (lack of ) technique?

Will I run into someone?

Will someone run into me?

Will I look like a fool?

Will I look silly in my swimsuit, which CERTAINLY is not a Speedo?

Once I got into the pool area, I was a little discouraged that all of the lanes were full.

A water aerobics class was going on in one corner of the pool.

A swim class was going on at the other end of the pool.

In the first lap lane, a guy was leaning against the wall while his friend slowly kicked with a paddle board.

In the second lap lane, two competitive swimmers were going strong.

In the third lap lane, a mom was “swimming” aka using the kick boards with her two children.

I knew that I had to just jump into a lane and start swimming. I finally found the courage to swim and I wasn’t going to let a busy pool stop me. Hopefully someone would be done soon. Hopefully a new lane would open up soon.

I decided to jump into the lane with the lazy guy against the wall and his kick board friend.

I walked into the water, hopped into the first lane, and took off.

I FELT AMAZING.

I felt confident.

I felt great.

I felt strong.

And then, we all 3 got caught on the same end of the pool.

Woops.

“You’ll need to find a new lane,” the lazy one said  to me. “You can only have two people per lane.”

“Well, all of the lanes have two swimmers,” I said back. “And that lane has three. I’m sorry, but I am training for my triathlon and I need to get these laps in.”

“Well, we’re going to have to find a way to make this work,” the lazy one said to me.

“Definitely,” I said. “But I have no other options. All of the lanes are full. I’ll admit that I’m new to the pool – this is my first time swimming here! So I’ll learn everything from you guys!”

“I’ll be the slow one,” the kick board kid said. “So you can go first since you’ll be faster than both of us.”

We all agreed that I would go first and we would swim in an oval shape to avoid running into each other. I felt so awesome the entire time.

I immediately felt so silly for being so afraid of something I simply never tried.

I did much better than I ever expected.

I did my 10 laps and then a lifeguard told me that another lane opened up! I was thrilled to keep swimming. And hopefully in my OWN lane. What a dream!

I pulled myself out of the pool and walked over to the new lane – just in time to see someone put a sign up that said”closed for private lessons.”

Great.

I started to turn around and lazy kid looked up and smiled at me, “Good luck with your marathon!!”

I wasn’t doing a marathon, but I didn’t really care. It was kid that he thought to wish me well.

“Thank you so much!” I said and walked away.

I forgot my towel on the pool deck, obviously. So I had to walk back into the pool and grab my towel.

“Have fun!” I said to the kick board kid.

He awkwardly smiled at me and said, “Thank you!”

I’m so happy that I went swimming tonight. I think I have a new favorite exercise too.

I’m still a newbie.

And I have a lot to learn.

But  by golly, I’m really excited about the remainder of this training program.

Whatever you dream of at night…

Whatever you hope for when you close your eyes…

Whatever you wish for when you see a shooting star…

GO FOR IT!

You will only be a newbie for a short while. And before you know it, you’ll be inspiring and teaching the people around you!

You’ll certainly inspire me.

Much love,

Ashley

 

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