This week, I made the decision to join a masters swim program. I swam in different programs years ago when I lived in Austin, and I did really well in them. I became a strong swimmer, especially during my years training at the Courtyard when I would swim four days a week. It wasn’t the frequent swimming, but the swimming with others that really made me strong. When I moved from far northwest Austin to the country far southwest of town, I abandoned my masters program because my old facility was miles and miles away, and there was no good option nearby. That’s now changed.
This week, I discovered Austin Aquatics and Sports Academy. It’s a new facility on Southwest Parkway about midway between my home and my office. They offer a morning and lunchtime masters program, so I emailed the facility to schedule a visit. After doing that, I learned that Natasha, my triathlon coach, is their Director of Triathlon and that the facility is launching a triathlon program next month. The place is more than a pool. It has an indoor gym with spin bikes and trainers that measure power and lots of different workout and stretching equipment. Plus they have access to a nearby track and are in the process of building a trail onsite. And they have group training for biking, running and even strength work.
That’s not all. My program, TriDot, is working with AASA. So I can train at a facility using my existing program, under the watchful eye of my current coach, and I get the benefit of being with people, many of whom have the same goals I do. I’m blown away by this opportunity.
I love training, and I really do enjoy long rides and runs alone. But I know I can benefit from group workouts. I like having people around. They motivate me to work harder, and they make showing up for the workout tons of fun. That’s why Kerry, Jenny, Sommer and I have run together for years. It’s fun. We motivate one another, and we push each other to do runs we might not show up for on our own. This facility is going to be that for me on a whole different level.
I think I’m at a stage in training and in life where people matter more than ever before. Like today, I’ve had the entire day at home alone. Dave left for work early this morning, and I’ve been doing laundry, reading, watching television, getting my car serviced, cleaning up here and there, and just enjoying being in my space. I love time alone, and when Dave first moved here, I craved time alone. But I’ve gotten to where I prefer time with him over time by myself. I need time by myself, but I need it in much smaller doses than before. Even today, I’ve had a great day, but I’ve been looking forward to his return since about 11:00 this morning.
I love the training I’ve been doing under Natasha and with TriDot. I’ve done really well in that program, posting my best Ironman and marathon times ever. But I’m really excited now to see what can happen when I’m training more extensively in a group environment, not just with swimming, but swimming, biking, running and strength work. I think the environment will make me stronger. I think it will motivate me to show up and to work harder each time I do. Plus, I think it’ll make training even more fun. My runs with the girls are so fun that I’m keeping those up even with this new facility available to me. But now, rather than having two runs with my friends to look forward to each week, I’ll have six or eight additional group workouts to look forward to.
I feel really lucky that this facility sprouted at a location that works so well for me. I’m super excited to get started. And I’m really ready for Dave to get home. He should be here any minute now…