Monday, January 9, 2012

Off to The Pool I Go

Today is the first swim of the year that I'll be doing with the Edinburgh Road Club. I had two practices with them in December to see whether or not I wanted to join and was quite happy with the club and the set up of the practices. Even though my coach from when I was swimming has agreed to give me workouts, it will be nice to practice at least once a week in a team environment. Sometimes training on your own is really nice, but I find that it's also beneficial to have days where you have other like-minded people surrounding you. It's motivating in a way and tends to keep me on track. The only glitch is getting there.
I'm battling another cold thingy I am pretty sure I picked up from the gym. Because of that, I thought I might not make it, but I'm feeling quite a bit better this morning and so will be going. It seems every time I turn around, I've been sick this winter season. I think part of it is the unpredictable weather and also that I'm in a new country with various strains of bugs that I am assuming my system has never had to fight off before. Despite my clogged head, I'll definitely be going tonight. I had a solid 12 hour sleep last night and feel quite a bit better. Not 100 percent by any stretch, but much better.
I think it's really important I go tonight for a few reasons. One of them being that L and I are going to be chatting about potential guides for me. I really need to find a guide or two in order for this whole training thing to work. Besides, when racing season rolls around, how am I suppose to race without a guide?
Aside from the cold, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get to the pool because I have no idea where it is. I'm really thankful to Tenie, my best friend, who is going to teach me how to get to the pool. The two times I've been before now, I've alwys went with a sighted person and without my guide dog, Glacier. I wasn't paying attention to the route because I assumed Emily would be coming with me every week and that would mean I wouldn't have to worry about getting there on my own. Now, though, being able to get to this particular practice independently is the only way I'll get to train with ERC on Mondays. So, Tenie has generously given up her evening tonight to teach me how to get from the bus stop to the swim centre itself.
It's these little things that make training for a sport slightly complicated and ever interesting as a blind person. You can't just look up the pool on a map and drive yourself there. Getting there has to be learned, memorized and practised. Wen learning new routes, especially longer ones like this one, there is great potential for getting lost or turned around. This could mean not making the practice at all. Thankfully, from what I remember, the route is pretty straight forward once you hop off the bus, so I think Glacier and I will get it the first time. At least, let's hope. I'd hate to have to drag Tenie out another night next week. She'd probably do it because she's awesome like that, but I'd rather not have her sitting, sweating her butt off on a pool deck for an hour if she doesn't have to. I'd also rather not get lost the next time Glacier and I venture there on our own. :)
Regardless of cold and transportation issues-now sorted out-I'll make it tonight and hopefully have a decent practice and a productive chat with L. With every little obstacle overcome, such as learning how to get to a practice venue independently, my goal to race in a triathlon this summer becomes more and more of a  reality and for that I am grateful.
I read on a friend's Facebook page the other day:
"failure is not falling down, but rather failure is staying down." I couldn't agree more.

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