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Feeling Frustrated in the Pool

by Meghann on August 7, 2012

Some mornings I think our swim coach wakes up and thinks to himself “you know what, I think today is a good day to pick on so-and-so.” Today that so-and-so was me.

It all started with this.



We all laughed when Felipe brought the head snorkel out. Well, all of us except for Felipe, who was dead serious. He passed the snorkel to me, along with two paddles, a pull buoy, and an old bike tire to tie my legs together with. I looked ridiculous, and I felt ridiculous too. Being strapped and paddled, made it hard to move and difficult to swim.

I was told to swim with my head down and focus on my form and stroke. I thought that meant I should focus on keeping my body straight. I was wrong. After one lap our coach mentioned my elbow wasn’t going high enough. The next, I wasn’t rotating enough. The next, still not rotating and I was entering the water too soon. This pattern continued through the remainder of the workout. Mainly stating I wasn’t rotating, my arm was entering the water too soon, and I wasn’t getting the power out of my stroke that I should.

It was really frustrating, mainly because I thought I was making the necessary changes to correct my form, but I wasn’t. I would do a lap, feel good, and be told I was still making the same error. Grrr…. Why wouldn’t my right side rotate like it should?

My coach ended the workout with some one-on-one drills that forced my right side to rotate. We ran out of time, otherwise I’m pretty sure he would have worked me further. Hopefully the rotation will click soon because my body is still rebelling at the idea.

Have you ever been frustrated with a workout because something won’t click?

(edited to add: I was joking when I said the coach was “picking on me” I know everything he helped me with today was to improve my form and technique, not to single me out. I was more frustrated with myself for not getting it. I know it will come, it’s just hard when you know what you should be doing, only your body doesn’t want to do it.) 

I left the pool still trying to figure everything out. When I got home, I toasted two pieces of wheat bread and slathered them with honey peanut butter and pumpkin butter, then added strawberries, ground flax, and walnuts.


A filling breakfast full of various textures, flavors, and a little crunch.


On another note, I’m not sure why anyone would want to use the snorkel headpiece in a triathlon setting. It didn’t make the swim any easier – I’m pretty sure it made it harder. I couldn’t move my head to see where I was going and it was difficult to breathe without having nose plugs. I was not a fan. They are allowed for the swim portion of most triathlons (you just wouldn’t qualify for any awards), but I’m not sure how that’s possible when I can see it being dangerous in a group setting.

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