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When I read my first BTD book, one of the things that rang true with me was that though I'm not particularly strong or coordinated and I'm terrible at all team sports, I really do like intense physical exercise. Yesterday's blog left off with my husband and me giving up running and walking every night pushing a baby stroller.
Our son loved the water, so the summer he was two we joined the local swimming pool. My husband decided that we should swim laps. He had it all planned. I would play with the baby while he swam, then he would entertain the baby while I swam. That was ok, but he wouldn't have long to entertain because I could barely swim.
I had a lot of ear infections as a child (too much milk, I'm sure) and my parents were afraid for me to get water in my ears. I didn't learn to swim at all until I was in 6th grade. By then I was more interested in sunning and watching boys than perfecting the strokes I learned in swim lessons. I nearly drowned at the beach in high school. I decided that sitting by the pool chatting with friends would be enough swimming for me.
The first night I tried to swim laps, I started in the shallow end, ran out of steam before I swam one length of the pool, and had to pull myself to the side using the lane ropes. My husband did not think I should give up. So I would start in the deep end. Then when I got tired I could at least walk to the side without embarrassing myself.
I didn't progress very fast as a swimmer. I think I was still dealing with a lot of old fears. Eventually I could swim the length of the pool. My first victory! To swim a lap, I had to swim into the deep water and back out again. A victory over fear! My husband's goal for me was 10 laps. It took three summers before I reached that goal.
I counted laps in groups of 4, so 12 was my next goal. A half-mile was 16 laps. That seemed impossible, but I made it. The same thing was happening with swimming that had happened with running. Though I was tired when I got out of the water, I felt energized at the same time. Several years passed, and I was getting close to swimming a mile.
One night I swam 15/16ths of a mile. I could have swum those last two laps, but the pool closed. The next morning I was in a car accident, and injured my shoulder. I didn't swim at all the rest of that year. The next summer I had to start all over, trying just to swim a lap.
Because we didn't run any more, swimming was the most strenuous exercise I got. I think my Type O desire for the high that comes with vigorous exercise was all that kept me from giving up on swimming. Though I didn't know about the BTD back then, the built in characteristics of my Blood Type were at work.
I swim a lot in the summer and 1 day a week year round. I normally swim Â¾ mile in about 40 minutes. That's not particularly fast - but I have never claimed to be an athlete.
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