Friday, June 5, 2009

The Un-Athlon

At this time tomorrow, I'll be just about to step off for the third leg of the Mooseman Triathlon.

Don't be too impressed. I'm not doing the first two legs. Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to the 6.2 miles of my relay leg and experiencing something new.

I talked about and thought hard about training for a triathlon earlier this year, all three portions. But with my sights on a marathon later in the year, I figured I'd take on one significant challenge a year -- and hopefully the increased focus on one goal would pay off in an enjoyable and successful experience.

Maybe that was just me trying to justify my avid avoidance for the swim.

I'm most certainly not a swimmer. Although I enjoy being by water and can tolerate being in water, I'm not big on being under water.

My dislike for swimming borders on an unexplained fear. I've seriously considered signing up for private swimming lessons to conquer this fear, but quite honestly, it's not a big priority for me.

I can swim and I don't fear that I'm going to drown. I had a pool growing up and love spending time at the lakes and ocean (notice that I'm saying "at" not "in").

Still, I really can't explain why I want to avoid it so much.

My only reasonable explanation (and I'm not sure it's that reasonable) is that for years I had a re-occuring dream that I was trapped underwater -- sometimes in a car, a few times in a plane. The dreams were always vivid and detailed. And I always remembered them.

Fortunately, I haven't had a dream like that in a while. Always curious by nature, I decided to do a little "research" on what these types of dreams meant. ("Research" these days is a simple Google search.)

Turns out, if you believe what you read online and you believe any dream analysis, that the dreams had nothing about a fear of water or drowning or anything like that. Like most dreams, the water was a metaphor for other things trapped in my subconsious -- fear of losing control or being controlled. Stuff like that. (That's a whole other subject for a whole other blog.)

Luckily, the dreams are gone. So for now, I'll take baby steps into the triathlon. Get a relay under my belt and maybe I'll train for a duathlon next.

And then perhaps -- with my watery dreams firmly in the past -- I'll conquer my disdain for the water and complete a triathlon sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Have to admit, it would be a pretty cool feeling.


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