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It’s the best day of the week: Try Something New Thursday!

Last Thursday was the big day! I went to a Master’s Swim Class for the first time.

Ready for Master’s Swim!

Husband Saign came along too.

As we were driving to the gym, something unexpected happened: I got super nervous. I can’t explain what I was scared was going to happen, but I just felt scared that I would be embarrassed or something.

Husband Saign thought this was hilarious.

When we got to the pool, I saw the instructor there. I knew it was him because I had seen him instructing before. I also knew that he is super, super nice. But I was scared to approach him, and made Husband Saign come with me.

Our instructor told us to swim a few laps to warm up.

I realized that I was panicking when I got tired halfway through my 2nd lap. I typically swim quite a few laps before getting tired, so I was clearly flailing and acting somewhat awkward, or swimming pointlessly fast.

After the warm up, we were given kickboards and told to do laps. The drill had a fancy name for it, but basically we were told to do 4 lengths comfortable, and sprint the 5th length. Repeat. Over and over.

Of course, I’m far too distractible to actually count laps, so I just sort of sprinted every time I thought it might be the 5th length.

As I was kicking back and forth, wondering how I would learn to be a better swimmer if we spent the whole time with kickboards, I noticed something: Some lady who wasn’t from our class was asking our instructor for swimming tips. That lady was getting the class I wanted, and meanwhile I was just kicking my little legs!

I thought about putting away the kickboard and telling the instructor that I wanted to practice freestyle, but I thought that would be rude.

After about 45 minutes, we stopped and took turns being timed while swimming a lap. I’m relatively certain that I was the slowest in the class. (The class was only 4 people, and I know for sure that I was slower than 2 of the other 3 people). I didn’t really care about being slow, I was just happy that I got to swim a lap so that I could ask my instructor for some advice.

So I did. And…um…apparently my swimming is pretty disastrous. I guess that isn’t much of a surprise, but I’ve improved so much within the past few months, that I don’t feel disastrous when I swim.

Apparently I swim like a surfer. As in, I swim with my body really still, which is certainly not optimal. Plus I often have my arms straight as they enter the water. Again, not optimal.

Now that I understood this, I was ready to practice implementing the advice I’d been given…but class was over.

All in all, I’d say I was a little disappointed, since I was really hoping for some advice to improve my strokes, rather than endurance drills. However, the instructor is super nice, so I know that if I keep going back, I’ll be able to get more advice if I just ask for it. Also, apparently Tuesday nights there’s more instruction involved at Master’s Swim, while Thursday nights is more about endurance.

So guys, don’t get scared like me! If you have a chance to try out Master’s Swim, do it! I know it will bring improvement!

Have you ever tried a swim class? Ever been told you swim like a surfer?

RunFunDone now has its own website!


If you are registered to be notified of new posts from this site, unfortunately I was not able to transfer my followers over to the new account. I hope you’ll take a look at the new site and give ‘er a follow!

You should take a look! I even made a cool new logo!!!

Okay, so, remember how I can’t swim?

Well, on Tuesday while at the gym, flailing about in the pool, I noticed that in the lane next to us appeared to be an adult couple taking a swimming lesson. I was kind of jealous, because 1) I want to be a better swimmer, and 2) their instructor was super nice and patient with them. Husband Saign noticed the lesson as well, and I talked to him about how someday I’d like to take a lesson too, and I wondered how much they cost and how I could request their nice instructor. (I was planning to ask for, “The guy with the anchor tattoo and the pink earring,” though I was a bit afraid I’d sound like a super-creeper).

Then, last night Husband Saign and I were talking about the best time to go to the pool to swim laps. We looked at the pool schedule and saw when the kids swimming lessons took place, so that we could avoid the pool at that time. I thought it would be good to go about 45 minutes after the lessons ended to give families time to clear out of the pool. But as I looked at the schedule, I noticed something else. “Oh no! There’s Masters Swim at 7:00! I wonder what that is? How many lanes does it take up?” And then I realized, “Hey, wait! This says that Masters Swim happened on Tuesday while we were swimming too. I don’t remember them taking up space.”

What does Masters Swim mean?

Then the lightbulb! “Oh! I think that couple in the lane next to us must have been doing Masters Swim! It’s adult swimming lessons!” I got a little excited about this, because it meant that I could probably get a swimming lesson with the nice instructor without being a super-creeper and requesting him.

I asked Husband Saign to call the gym to ask how much Master Swim costs. He called for me, since he’s nice.

And guess what????

It’s free!

I can have free adult swimming lessons with the nice instructor without being a super-creeper! This is amazing!

I’m so excited!!! I’ll be a Master Swimmer/rhythmic breather in no time!!!

Would you be embarrassed to take an adult swim class?

Muscles are crazy.

According to the sports medicine doctor, my main problem in running is overpronation. (Well, and overtraining which made my overpronation problems particularly bad).

So here’s the deal: When most people walk and run, they strike the ground with their heel and the roll their foot forward. Rolling from heel-to-toe often starts slightly on the outside of the heel, but ideally ends towards the middle of the front-foot (from my understanding). As an overpronator, I’m rolling from the heel to the toe, but rolling my foot too far inwards, causing it too collapse a great deal, and causing stress on my muscles.

Overpronation in pictures
– Source –

So how does what I’m doing in my feet cause stress in my shin muscle? Well, here’s the crazy part. The muscle that’s involved in my problem runs from below the knee, down into the foot. So when my foot is collapsing, it’s pulling on the muscle. And that’s why I’m having pain. (The muscle involved is called the “tibialis posterior.” So now you know).

Here it is. The posterior tibialis.
– source –

Yep, those are the interesting facts about my shin problems. This is also why some people go for minimalist running; by not wearing shoes, they stop heel-striking altogether, therefore preventing injuries such as the one that I’m currently recovering from.

So…at my doctor’s suggestion, I get to wear orthotics. I just think that word is so funny, because it makes me think that I’m a very dorky girl. Like Forrest Gump. I’m sure the Forrest Gump had to wear orthotics.

I’m still really hoping for a quick recovery, but I’m beginning to realize that EVERYTHING seems to exacerbate the problem. The doctor told me no elliptical, no hiking, and no doing anything that makes them hurt. Well, I figured since I’ve been doing the elliptical and hiking that by stopping the problem would be better in no time.

Wrong. Because even the seated exercise bike seems to irritate my shins. And swimming might cause a problem too. I’m not sure. That’s the other problem. I can’t necessarily figure out what activities cause problems since I’m always active. Yesterday my shins hurt badly when I woke up. The night before I had done biking and swimming. So which one is causing the problem? I have no idea. It’s very confusing. Perhaps I should just lie in bed for the next few weeks and never move in order to improve the problem.

This stinks.

But muscles are interesting!!!

Do you already know all about muscles? Do you think I look like Forrest Gump with my orthotics in?

When I was little, I took swimming lessons. I’m not sure that I was forced, but I do believe that the lessons were highly encouraged by my mother. As far as I remember, I didn’t particularly enjoy them, but I don’t think I minded them much either.

Until I reached the glass ceiling of swimming lessons.

What’s the glass ceiling, you ask?

Rhythmic breathing. You know, putting your face in the water, and taking it out to breathe every once in awhile? That?

Yep. Couldn’t do it. It was the glass ceiling of my swimming career.

I remember sitting on the side of the pool next to my swimming instructor catching my breath after my failed attempts to rhythmic breathe.

I failed the same swimming class twice (due to my inability to rhythmic breathe) before my mother finally let me quit lessons. I guess she realized that I just wasn’t moving on up in the swimming world.

This swimming glass ceiling hasn’t bothered me much in my adult life. While in Minnesota I still managed to waterski, and while in Southern California I still managed to surf. So though I’m not a strong swimmer, I was comfortable enough in the water to survive watersports when living in places where watersports are important.

Who knew that my lack of swimming skills would become particularly problematic in Washington State…the only place I’ve ever lived where watersports are not a somewhat large part of the culture? Weird.

Because of my shin injury, I’m trying to swim laps. (Since it’s exercise that doesn’t hurt my shins). Perfect. Well, you know, except for the fact that I can’t breathe when I swim, and I can’t live if I don’t breathe. It’s somewhat of a cyclical problem.

Our first day at the gym, equipped with goggles and a willing attitude, I asked Husband Saign to teach me.

He got me so that I could go underwater without using my hand to plug my nose, which is a noticeable improvement.

And, I can swim about 1/3 of the (1/2 Olympic size) pool doing the breaststroke before I must stop to catch up on my breathing. Impressed yet?

Thankfully there’s a section of the pool blocked off for slow people who might stop-and-start, so I don’t have to swim legitimate laps. I just have to make sure that I never go to the pool during water aerobics, since then the slow-and-erratic lane will be in use and I’ll have to share the lanes with the big boys!

Here’s looking at you, Michael Phelps. Soon enough I might be able to swim a whole lap without stopping!

Do you swim? How do you choose how many laps to do and what stroke to do for your workout? Any swimming tips for me?

Given my new instructions to not use the elliptical, Husband Saign and I had to take the plunge and get a legit gym membership at a gym with a pool.

It’s very exciting! Here are my new treats I had to get:


Yep. Just when you thought maybe I wasn’t that ridiculous, I take a photo like this, and you have to acknowledge…I am pretty much completely ridiculous.
Also, this is my 2nd pair of goggles. The first pair I wore to the gym one day and promptly lost them.

Sadly, because of my shins, there’s a ton of stuff I can’t do at the gym.

Here’s a list of what I can do:

  1. swim
  2. yoga
  3. bike
  4. upper body/core strength/lifting

Yep. A sad list of 4 things.

Here’s a list of the things I’m looking forward to doing when I get better:

  1. RUN! (Most important!)
  2. zumba
  3. rock climbing
  4. kickboxing
  5. spinning (I should be able to do this now, but so far it’s exacerbated my shin pain)
  6. lower body strength/lifting (My shins hurt so badly from doing legs this weekend that I realized I shouldn’t be lifting with my legs)

I’m so excited! I hate paying for a gym membership, but I really enjoy having a gym membership!

What’s your favorite thing to do at the gym? Any ideas of things I can do that don’t have the potential to hurt my shins?