First Coached Swim

The “swim” part of the triathlon is what I most fear. The thought of drowning is oh so scary. But at the same time, it’s also the part that I am most eager and excited to accomplish. Conquering this would be a huge boost confidence booster. Last night was the beginning of my journey to overcome my fear of water.

Straight from work, Tony and I rushed to meet up with the rest of our teammate at Burgess Pool in Menlo Park. First part of last night’s training dealt with working on our core. Afterwards, we jumped into the pool. I was expecting the water to be freezing cold. Surprisingly, the pool was heated and was super warm…it was nice. Not as warm as sauna, but nice to the skin. Anyhoo, we were divided into various skill level groups. Tony was placed into the faster intermediate group; while I hung out with the beginners…you know the tadpoles. J/k we did a few drills and I learned a few things that needed to improve on. The coach was clear and explained things very well. Surprisingly, I wasn’t tired by the workout. I was surprised b/k I’m super out of shape and ever since my ankle injury 2 months ago, I haven’t really exercised. Tony said that this is just a ramping up phase. So I shouldn’t get too comfortable. I can’t wait to learn more swim stuff.

During our training we had the opportunity to hear from a cancer survivor and honoree. Her name is Vanessa, she was swimming in the lane line next to me. I thought her story was just so amazing and inspiring. She told was that when she was 23 she was diagnosed with Lymphoma: her doctors found a large tumor growing around her heart. She was told that her cancer was untreatable due to its size (10 x 12 x 2.5 cm). Then, she finally found an experimental program that included 9 months of chemotherapy followed by 6 months of radiation. She was told that the odds were quite high that she might suffer long term lung, heart, kidney, or liver damage in the future, but she knew that she had no choice if she had wanted to live. It was a miracle that she survived the treatments and got rid of the cancer several years later, though, some heart damage appeared that resulted in 3 open-heart surgeries. It was at this point that she decided that life was too short to not live every day of your life. She joined the Team in Training program. Then, in 2006 her doctors discovered that her right lung had become paralyzed due to nerve damage from the radiation treatments that she had undergone. Even with all of these challenges she faced decided to join the Lavaman Team in 2007 and completed first triathlon in April of 2008.

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3 Responses to “First Coached Swim”

  1. Randy Ksar Says:

    I’ve met Vanessa about 5 / 6 years ago and heard her story of surgeries, chemo, and battling thru the treatment many times. What an amazing lady! Her husband is a phenomenal athlete as well which I assume you’ve met already.

  2. Our first Open Water Swim = horrifying « Running for a cause Says:

    […] the open water swim ever since joining Team In Training. As I mentioned in my earlier posts, the “swim” part of the triathlon is what I most fear. The thought of drowning is oh so scary. But at the same […]

  3. This past week…getting back in the water « Running for a cause Says:

    […] this practice one of our Team Honorees and Coach Mike’s wife, Vanessa, mentioned that her friend and a member of last years Team in Training’s Lavaman Winter […]

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