So you don't want to swim because you don't know how to...or you're not good at it? I hope that sounds ridiculous to you too when I say it out loud. I am by NO means a "swimmer". I have always wanted to do an Ironman and knew that I could put together the bike and run but I had to crack the swimming nut. Now I'm a firm believer that people that grow up as swimmers have a HUGE LEG up on the rest of us. Swimming is not "natural" for humans. Once you're taught proper form as a kid...and it sticks (it's really no different than learning a language as a kid) its always there and you can recall it. To learn swimming as an adult (essentially a new language) is terribly difficult.
Moment of truth? The first time I got in a pool to train: I hopped in to share a lane without asking, got my ass chewed out by the swimmer already in the lane, I struggled and muscled my way through the length (yes I said length NOT lap), got right out at other end, went into the locker room and sobbed to myself that I'll never be a triathlete...much less an Ironman. Ya, not a good day at all. But rather then let the water best me, I had to do two things I hate: admit defeat and ask for help. I got a friend who was a collegiate swimmer to teach me how to swim, put my ego in check and listened to the critiquing and worked steadily to better myself. Am I a good swimmer? No. Am I decent and no longer experiencing "controlled drowning" every time I swim? Do my swim times come down at every race (and subsequently put me on a podium now)? Yes. Can I hang with real swimmers? Not a chance...but I do enjoy catching most of them on the bike (its all about the small victories).
Do I look forward to going to the pool now? Um...I try to be positive and focus on the task at hand. But, at no point in the water am I laid back and just "swimming". I always think to myself: head down, strong shallow kick, proper hand entry, rock side to side, strong pull...followed by...oh crap breathe, breathe!
But...at the end of the day, I have no intention of letting the water beat me. I will get better every swim session. I will get through that 2.4 mile Ironman swim (with plenty of gas in the tank for that 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run) and I will earn the title "Ironman". Ya, I don't love the swim...but I'm warming up to it with every stroke. I do look forward to the swim at races now because its a chance to bring my swim times down with every race. So....what's your excuse for not at least trying?!