elisariva

Seizing life's joys and challenges physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Float Like a Butterfly

8 Comments

With this being day four of continuous rain, I was happy to have not lost power due to the strong winds last night. My gym also did not lose power, so I dodge a few down trees on my drive there and got in a swim. Lately one of my friends has been sharing swim workout with me, but usually after he has done it. This morning he was swimming at the same time, so I would follow his lead. Being a much faster swimmer than I, we would swim on the same send off interval, only I would swim 25 to 50 meters shorter. The first set I swam 2 x 200 on a 4:30 send off while he swam 250 meters. There was one set of back stroke and breast stroke, I wore my fins so I wouldn’t be so far behind on back stroke. It was going well and I felt I was working harder to keep up.

Then he tells me to swim 2 x 100 IM (individual medley – butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle). I said okay, I will do freestyle in place of butterfly. Well, that did not fly. He persisted that I do butterfly. Never having done the stroke before – ever – I wore my fins and he gave me a few tips. I know the fins made a huge difference, but not only did I swim 25 meters butterfly, I touched the wall only two seconds after my friend. Of course by the time I finished the set he was far ahead of me, but I was thrilled to have tried something the first time and faired well. Me – the struggling swimmer. Hoot Hoot! Several others usually swim at the same time and were not there this morning – you better believe I was texting them after my workout with my little story. In all I swam 3,000 meters. It may not actually be “floating” with such a technical stroke, but I sure was floating like a butterfly for the rest of the day knowing I was able to take on a new challenge.

This evening I was back on the treadmill for a 60 minute easy run. My goal again was to stay in zone two. I was able to run at an 11:35 pace and still have an average heart rate of 130. I started back in December working on improving my cardio aerobic zones and now it is almost November and I am seeing how the long, slow process is  paying off. I used to have to walk more than run to keep my heart rate averaging 130.

Sometimes improvements take a long time to see – in running for me it is a long process to train my body to be more efficient and run faster while maintaining a lower heart rate.  Then there is the butterfly stroke – something I have been very intimidated by for a long time. My form needs a lot of improvement and practice, but I was able to do it well enough to keep up – on my first try. Both long slow improvements and fast results have the same effect on me – I am surprised yet happy that I am able to do it. The long in coming improvements are very meaningful because I worked so hard for it. But a quick success like today gives me the confidence to swim in uncharted waters.

Author: elisariva

I want to encourage everyone to follow your passions, not just what is easy. It is in overcoming hurdles and barriers that we truly test our limits and abilities. There is much more we are capable of if we only believe in ourselves.

8 thoughts on “Float Like a Butterfly

  1. Good for you trying the butterfly…I have tried…usually I feel like I am floundering not flying!

  2. That’s awesome! Sounds like a great practice. If you ever have any swim oriented questions, feel free to ask. My blog focuses on swimming for triathletes.

  3. my butterfly is more of a buttersink, gasp, swallow water….congrats.

  4. I love doing the butterfly with fins on! It makes me feel like I’m flying through the water! It will get easier, I promise.

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