Join a club or go it alone?

I’ve been putting this post off but, I have to be honest, or this entire blog will just be false.  I’ve been debating about joining a club for a while now.  Swaying between the local road runners and the triathlon club.  I enjoy the running group I have been attending but I’m eager for more.  In the end I went with the triathlon club as I want to continue to push myself and triathlon is a huge challenge.  

A few emails back and forward and I went along to a swim session.  Said hello to the coaches (there were 2), got changed and jumped in.  I’ve never done drills before, I am entirely self taught with the swimming so it was hard!  I knew it would be though and I knew I would be nervous – didn’t know a soul there, had to drive there myself AND walk through the door myself, still shake at the thought of it.  One of the coaches asked how I had got on and I was honest, told him it was hard but I knew it would take time. “Yeah” he said, “A lot of time”.  Good thing I wasn’t building my hopes up!  Then he went on to say it would come, swimming was the hardest part, cycling you just need to learn the gears and running was easy, anyone can run.  Great, running was my strength! Never mind.

I went back for the next swim session.  It couldn’t have gone worse.

I put my goggles on upside down – as pointed out by a coach.

I swallowed half the pool – something I haven’t done since I started.

I was hit multiple times by others in the lane to the extent at one point I was completely paranoid I thought they were aiming for me.  (Of course they weren’t and I hit the barrier just as much as they hit me but still, it hurt).

I didn’t finish the 2000m set.  I ran out of time.

Afterwards I had intended to hang around as someone had mentioned a bike session and my mum had already agreed to babysit.  I didn’t though.  I practically ran to the car desperate to get there before the tears started.  Clearly out of my depth, pun intended.

Back home and the husband could see it was getting to me.  Usually he comes out with some helpful encouragement like ‘quit moaning and man up’ or ‘quit then’.  Thankfully this time he didn’t.  I felt like I was back at square one and beginning all over again.  And I was having serious doubts about doing another triathlon anytime soon!  Needless to say I missed the bike session – I didn’t have anyone’s name or number to ask for the details.

Monday night and I found myself sitting on my bed dreading another swim session.  I know I’m not the kind of person who will walk into a room and say hi and command everyone’s attention.  I’m more likely to sneak through the door and skirt about the edges.  I stress out and panic in groups, my insides start screaming and I will hide out in the bathroom for as long as I possibly can.  But, I had decided to do this, I had seen how great and welcoming the tri community can be (the support crew for West Lothian at the middle distance our friend did was utterly amazing!  I was in awe!).  So I went. My swimming wasn’t great, I was passed several times but I was only hit twice.  No one spoke though.  There was no chatting.  I actually did stay behind after and loiter about the reception but still nothing.  

I don’t know if it’s because I’m just not good enough at the swimming and everyone is wondering what I’m doing there.  The husband thinks that they maybe see a lot of people come and go and it will get better once I’ve been there a while, I just don’t know.  I joined because I know I need proper training, but also because of what I’ve seen of the support that’s out there.  Someone I have never met before offered me her bike for crying out loud! Such a shame I don’t live near her tri club.

Don’t get me wrong, no one has been rude, looked down their nose, made any comments – nothing like that.  They genuinely seem lovely people.  I’m shy, I know I’m shy, horrendously in fact.  It might be something else entirely that’s making me feel down – it’s possible. I will stick with it though.  For now.  My other half and I are doing our first triathlon together in just 3 weeks, I have to at least give it till then.  And it’s our wedding anniversary next week so we are going away to a place that holds great memories for us.  If that doesn’t lift my mood nothing will!


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