getting uncomfortable

I swam a good little workout today – something different.

From the editors of Fitness magazine

Hit the pool and burn close to 300 calories in just 22 minutes with this workout from Dave Thomas, USA Swimming sport-development consultant in Colorado Springs. Performing drills in the water is the best way to improve form and prevent boredom. This routine is based on a 25-yard-long pool lane; we’ve given times to shoot for, but go at your own pace. If needed, take 20-second rests between each segment.

Stroke Lengths Minutes
1. Freestyle 4 2
2. Alternate freestyle and backstroke 8 4
3. Use a kickboard 4 4
4. Freestyle using a pull buoy floating device held between legs 4 2
5. Repeat #2 8 4
6. Your favorite stroke (moderate pace) 8 4
7. Sprint (favorite stroke) 2 1
8. Freestyle (cool down) 2 1

Originally published in Fitness magazine, May 2006.

While I was swimming, I tried to breathe to the LEFT when coming off the wall and it felt so strange! I am used to automatically coming up to breathe on my right side after my turns during freestyle. It made me think back to before when I couldn’t flip turn or breathe to both sides.

It took me quite a bit of time to learn how to flip at the wall, which ultimately made me a faster, better swimmer. Then, about 3 years ago, I decided to become a “bilateral” breather so I wouldn’t end up working my neck just one way while breathing. That was a challenge as well!

Getting out of our comfort zones is hard, but look at what you can learn to do if you just try something new. Another example is clipping onto my bike pedals. I refused to do it for years for fear of falling over, but now I’ve been clipping for at least 5 years. It’s funny, because this year was the first time I’d ever fallen over and it wasn’t that bad.

So my challenge today is to try something you’re not used to do or that scares you. You might find that you really like it!

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