This post comes from my wife, Ellie, who apparently likes to blog. She's filling in while I attend a bioinformatics symposium. Enjoy!

I've decided that Dory's message from Finding Nemo is pretty misleading. "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming . . ." Cute, right? When the going gets tough, just keep swimmin' on through! You'll make it to the other side! It's so catchy, my coworkers and I printed out a picture of Dory with that message on it. When one of us is particularly overwhelmed with a project, we pass on the Dory message as a way of saying, "It's not so bad, you just have to keep going! This crap you're dealing with will be over soon." Well, what Dory didn't tell you is that swimming is flippin' hard. Maybe even harder than whatever you're going through.

dory nemo


Last night, Jon and I went to the JCC to take advantage of the lap-swim hour. Honestly, I am so excited for this triathlon because it's pushing us to try out other exercises besides running. We even went out and bought goggles, and I got a swim cap and ear plugs! I felt super cool with all my accoutrements (thanks for the tips, Adrienne!!), and I think Jono felt pretty BAMF, too. We jumped in the far lane (there are only four lanes, but there were also only four or five lap swimmers, including us) and got to it!

I can't tell you how awesome goggles are. Having them makes a huge difference. Whenever we go on vacation or stay in a hotel, I try to swim. But the last time I had goggles, I was probably about ten years old. So anyone who witnessed my "swimming" at these hotels was probably comparing me to a drowning, blind cat fighting to get out of the water, but all I was trying to do was cross-train . . . with my eyes closed!

swimming cat 2

This is pretty much exactly what I look like when swimming.

Back at the JCC, Jon started off down the lane with an impressive freestyle/crawl. I like the breaststroke because turning my head side to side gets water in my ears something fierce and I hadn't put the earplugs in for fear of looking stupid (because that's how you should work out, not by what doesn't hurt or what feels best, but by what makes you look coolest). I still tried to fit in some front crawl, just to see if I could, and learned that yes, I can still do it. I still think I looked a little drowning-cat-esque, but I did do it. Jon was swimming like a pro, trying to tread water rather than stand on the bottom when he arrived at the shallow end. This made a lot of sense because, during the triathlon, you can't really stand up when you're tired. You kind of have to just keep going or tread water while you rest.

We swam for about twenty-five minutes, and believe you me, that was enough for one day. Jon did 750 meters and I lost count. I'll say I did about 500; I took a few breaks to catch my breath. After grabbing our stuff and heading to the car, I was still out of breath. When we got home, I took some laundry down to the basement and my legs screamed at me the whole way down and back up. So I think swimming is a good idea for me, something new that works muscles I don't remember having.

In all, I am SO glad my parents and grandma got us kids into swimming at a super young age. A lot of the strokes came back via muscle memory, and I can't imagine what I would've done if I didn't remember them. . . . Good ole doggy paddle, maybe? So I send major props out to Adrienne, Dad, and all the other swimmers out there. You guys are my role models. I hope to be able to swim a mile without stopping someday . . . We'll see!