For the last 2+ months as I’ve recovered from my foot surgery, my workouts have consisted of relatively tame pilates, yoga, and low-impact cardio YouTube videos. Luckily this week my foot has been feeling better than ever, and now that I’m walking around without a boot I thought it was time to get out of the house and try some more intense workouts.
First up was a private swim lesson on Monday night at Trinity University in DC. Now that my incision is fully healed, my doctor has cleared me for swimming. Since it’s great exercise that really gets my heart pumping, I couldn’t wait to try it out! Instead of diving right in (haha – see what I did there?) with my own swim workouts though, I decided to start with a private lesson.
Now, of course I can swim. I grew up with not one but two pools in my backyard (one at my mom’s house and one at my dad’s house) so I basically spent every childhood summer as part fish/part human. That being said, I never took swim lessons and never learned the proper technique for swimming different strokes. Sure, I could kind of freestyle and attempt a breast stroke just from watching other people do it, but no one ever taught me the proper form.
I figured if I was going to be swimming for a few weeks, it was worth investing in a private swim lesson so I could finally learn what to do. Whenever I’ve swam laps at pools before, I’ve always felt self-conscious over my form. I’ve also thought about doing triathlons someday, and if I’m ever going to pursue that I knew I’d need some lessons.
After doing some research, it looked like a private lesson at Trinity University’s pool was my best bet, as it was cheaper than some of the other private lessons I looked into ($50 vs. $60+) and was located pretty close to my work. Once I made my decision, I sent off an email and boom – I was scheduled. So easy!
During our usual Sunday errand running, Fabio and I stopped by Target so I could purchase some swimming essentials – a one-piece bathing suit, swim cap, and goggles.
The suit itself is pretty basic, but I especially liked the strappy back. Cute!
Then after work on Monday I headed over to the pool (there is a shuttle from the Brookland metro stop on the red line) and met up with my trainer, Andre. Andre teaches all different levels of swimmers – from little kids to adults to people who have never been under water to competitive swimmers.
He began our lesson by talking to me about my swim background, and then asking me to swim freestyle down to the end of the pool while he recorded me on his iPad. He then showed me the video and pointed out things that I was doing wrong (e.g., lifting my head too much) and showed me different techniques to correct my form. Once I had it down he recorded me again, and showed me the difference. It was so cool to watch!
During our hour-long lesson, he also showed me how to do a sidestroke (mostly used for warming up/stretching), backstroke, and breast stroke, which was all super helpful. Now I’ll be ready to hit the public pool and practice all my new stokes. I can’t wait!
My other exciting workout this week was a class at Urban Athletic Club (UAC).
As most of you probably remember, UAC offers intense bootcamp style workouts that are always challenging but fun. I was going to the Georgetown location of UAC pretty much every week before my surgery, and I was just itching to go back. On Tuesday UAC had an open house so classes were free for guests, and I somehow convinced Fabio to go with me to see what it was all about (I think the prospect of free coffee and bagels after the class helped!).
Since I’m still not really able to do these workouts in full, I emailed the UAC owner ahead of time and explained my foot situation to see if they could provide some modifications for me. Of course the owner was super nice (as he always is) and told me that it wouldn’t be a problem. When I arrived on Tuesday morning for the 6:00 am class, the owner and all the instructors asked me how my foot was doing and promised to help me through the class, which was so nice.
Our workout of the day was another super challenging one, and although there were some moves I couldn’t do (lateral jumps, sprints, and jumping jacks) our instructor Andrew showed me modified moves for each one. Woohoo!
I cannot even begin to tell you how happy I was to be doing this workout with just a few modifications. I thought this day would never come!
It was also really nice having Fabio there so he could see just what these classes are like. For some reason Tuesday’s class was all women except for him (usually there are one or two other guys) and he commented that he was totally getting his ass kicked by all of us. Haha! Such a fun way to start the day.
The shirt was made of soft sweat-wicking material, and it was super comfortable throughout the workout. It had a built-in sports bra, which worked out fine for me since I’m not super huge up top. It’s also the perfect length – not too long and not too short – so I never felt like it was riding up or getting in my way. I also thought the fit was pretty flattering, and of course I like the colors and pattern.
My favorite part though has got to be these fun straps in the back.
I love that they give a stylish element to this workout tank! Love!
Now that I’m (literally) back on my feet, I hope to do these types of workouts more regularly. I’m also excited to see what the doctor says on Tuesday…maybe he’ll clear me to do more? You know I’m crossing my fingers!
Question of the day: Do you know how to swim with proper technique? If so, how did you learn?