As you may or may not know, I am currently a first year mentor with Tri It For Life! This is the group that helped me complete my first triathlon last year. I totally had plans to mentor and train so I could kick my previous time’s azz, and then Baby H popped into the picture. Clearly, not happening. However, I am still going to try for a minimum of 12 mentoring sessions with this year’s athletes.
I cannot do any of the biking, due to balance issues, and the fact that the baby is not really protected if I fall. It’s not like they make a helmet that fits over my stomach. I may still go to a couple of brick sessions to help the ladies prep their bikes before rides and warm up. I could also be the person who stays in the lot to watch bikes while they complete their running.
As far as the group run sessions, there are always walkers in the beginning. I walked with a really nice woman last week named Ginger. She was telling me that her husband said he’d do whatever he needed to to square the kids away so she can get to as my training sessions as possible. I love hearing those support stories. Often times, it’s the opposite – families are not supportive of wives/moms getting out to do something for themselves.
This week, the Bubble Blowers finished their last session in the warm pool. The water in this pool doesn’t go above my shoulders (I’m 5’2″). We’ve been working with them on basic skills like floating on their backs, elementary back stroke, swimming on their sides with the kick boards and buoys, etc.
I love attending the swim sessions. The doc has totally given the green light on swimming for me. Since I’m already a member of the facility where we train, I try to get there early and get some time in the pool on my own. I even did a few free style strokes last night! That’s still a struggle for me, but I’m working on it.
Which is why I laugh every time I think about the fact that I am trying to help others learn to swim. If you remember any of my posts from last year when I was training, you will laugh, too. LOL!
I just try to stress to them that last year, I was where they are. I try to get them to focus on learning to float comfortably on their backs, because in the cold pool you simply cannot put your feet down. They seem to be getting better, and some ladies are even in the pool without any flotation devices.
One thing we’ve done differently this year, is after each bubble blower session, we take them to the cold pool for 30 minutes. I wish we had done this last year. They’re getting a head start on getting used to deeper water. Although many of them try to sneak out before we switch pools, most do come over.
I’m having a lot of fun with just mentoring. While I’m disappointed about not competing in Ramblin’ Rose in September, it is for a good reason. 🙂 I love meeting all the new athletes. I wish I was better at remembering names! I am better with faces. I am going to try and spend as much time in the pool as I can, and I definitely want to be there when they finish the race in September and KNOW that they are tri-athletes.