bitten by the bug

I'm ashamed to say that I'm the type of person that very easily gets bitten by the bug...
the bug of competition, the bug of baby fever (seriously...wth is this nonsense?!) and the bug of being the best.
Perhaps it's all my years of competitive swimming,
but I've always said that my biggest fear is mediocrity...pure and simple.

Now that I'm learning to put the miles on my legs running again,
I'm getting bitten by that competition vibe again, and I'm looking for healthier outlets like swimming, as well.

For the past two years, I trained and competed in CrossFit.
Guys, I really did love it.
There's a sense of camaraderie, friendship and challenging your limits that speaks to my soul.
However, it was really bad for my body, and even though I learned to lift some serious weights, 
CrossFit did a number on my knee and my back, and I needed to take some time off to get my head (and body) back to normal.

^^^ about 4 months prior to quitting CrossFit

Now, I've been bitten by the open water swimming bug again. 
I'm pretty sure that swimming will always be my first love, 
and getting in the water, swimming my heart out and racing to the finish is cathartic.
Swimming, because it is second nature to me, has always been a healthier sport for me. 

I've beaten the aggravating rotator cuff pain, I've battled the chlorine smell and I've trained 5+ hours a day.
So, getting out in the open ocean and doing 1.5 to 6 miles is a lot easier for me. 
To date, I've done the Alcatraz Sharkfest, Boston Sharkfest, Peaks to Portland 2.5 miler and the Sebago 5k.
Next up? I'm looking at doing the San Diego Sharkfest in October.
And, next year, I'm hoping to do the Midmar Mile in South Africa when Ryan and I go.

^^^ I'm trying desperately to catch the guy in front of me - Boston Sharkfest, September 2013

^^^ my sisters and I before a lake training day - from the left, Kristina, Nikki and yours truly in 2012

I've always struggled with being bad at things, too, or just not being immediately great.
I recently started kickboxing, but it's definitely not a natural thing for me, and I struggle with not getting it.
Swimming, however, has always been second nature to me. 
There's something supremely awesome about being able to get back into it...much like riding a bike.
I remember when I did Peaks to Portland, a 2.5 mile race in Maine, and I got 4th overall.

It was freezing and windy that day,
the course was not even remotely marked, and I decided to do the race without a rescue kayaker.
I had to lift up my head to spot every few strokes,
and I thought I was going to get mauled by other kayakers a few times,
but I freaking loved it, and when I was done, I immediately looked for the next race.

^^^ immediately following Peaks to Portland

I'm really hoping that I can instill in my future children the love of challenging yourself...
but in a healthy way.
Not all sports are good for everyone, but swimming will always be mine.
And with this competitive bug flowing through my veins, I can't help but get excited for more races!
Do you guys ever get bitten by a competitive bug...or any sort of crazy must-have, must-do bug?

8 comments

  1. I've always loved swimming but I never did it competitively. I think it's just relaxing the way your body can flow through the water.

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    1. Definitely! My husband competed in high school, but now he just does it for fitness :)

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  2. I always loved swimming but didn't get into it competitively. I bet you would love triathlons with the swimming and running, just add biking. Such a high crossing the finish line!

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    1. Right?! I definitely want to try a triathlon in the future :)

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  3. do it! do it! do it! nothing wrong with needed competition to help keep you active and excited to train

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  4. I like to swim but not sure i'd want to race. kinda have a issue with my face in the water and water up my nose kind of thing.

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  5. Girl this is awesome! I need to get more of a competitive bug in me, maybe it'd help me get in better shape! I want a lap pool in my backyard though, that'd be awesome and encourage me to swim more often!

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  6. I think it's awesome that you want to get back in swimming. Isn't that good for joint problems and such? I've also wanted to delve into crossfit but haven't yet. I've never been a competitive person so I don't ever get that bug.

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