Fitness Tip of the Day: Just show up

Swimming My run was considerably shorter than usual this Sunday morning. Rain I don’t mind, but thunder and lightning tend to bring out the sensible in me (though admittedly, I stayed out longer than I probably should).

After church, I went for a swim. It was a good one — OK, one of my better efforts. I swam farther than I had intended because I just felt good. When I touched the side of the pool after that final lap and stopped the timer on my watch, the woman in the next lane spoke to me.

“How far did you GO?” she asked. “That was awesome.”

(Note: Speed and distance are entirely relative. What may seem fast and far to me (and for me) is a short and plodding dog paddle for other swimmers).

I told her and she said, “I usually just do some recreational swimming after I go on the elliptical or treadmill. But when I saw you swimming, I thought I’d swim a lap or two. I thought I was going to die!”

“Oh, I’ve been doing this for eons,” I said. “You’ll build up. Just take one stroke at a time.”

I relayed the story I’d heard Craig Miller from The Ticket (1310 AM) radio tell. Craig has run theBoston Marathon way more than once, and is an avid (and I’ll wager, very speedy) cyclist. A couple of months ago, he was talking (he’s a masterful storyteller, btw) about a recent swim he’d had. He said he thought he’d go for 20 minutes or so, but when he went up and back, he was exhausted. This is a guy in primo shape, I said, and HE had trouble.

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