If you have seen the movie Zoolander, you know what I am referring to. If you haven’t… for shame! It’s one of the best “dumb” comedies. The movie mocks the modeling industry with an emphasis on the thought that models are dim witted fools. Derek Zoolander is the main character who always does the same expression, but people go nuts over it (similar to a Kardashian selfie duck face). Anyway, in the movie he reveals that he is not an “ambi-turner.” He can only turn right on the runway, never left (I am sure by my description, if you had not already seen it you are out there trying to find it on Netflix right now! Sarcasm, because as I write this, I realize how horrible this movie sounds, but I digress.)
I have come to realize that I am like Zoolander in that I have issues with things like turning left or getting my breathing to go with my swim stroke. It really makes me feel like an idiot. I mean, I can control my body to push past pain and keep digging deep, but I can’t turn my bike left without freaking out. I ride on the greenway as a way to start being comfortable with speed and not have to worry about traffic. When I get to the end, there is a nice circle to turn around in and I always, always go right. I also realized that the entire span of my ride, no matter how long, has consisted of only right turns!!
As if that is not enough, apparently I am not an “ambi-breather” either! Last night I went in the pool to practice my new amazing ability to take a breath while swimming and low and behold, I can’t do it right…. Again! I am coming to realize that there is something to this muscle memory thing and that the only way I will get better is by practicing. I spent the next 15 minutes face down in the pool holding the wall (like the little kiddie class does) and simply turning my head left, taking a breath, then right, a breath and repeat.
I decided I should be able to breathe after that, so I headed off into a lap. As soon as I started to try to put it all together, it fell apart again. I realized that I am letting my brain get in the way. I am trying to think about making sure my breathing happens. I am trying to think about my kicks being correct. I am trying to think about my stroke and pull being right. I am trying to think about the water getting in my goggles and ways to get them to stay on right. I am thinking, way too much! I’m causing my own body to get confused by my mind.
Back to the drawing board I went. Face down in the pool, turning to breath again. I realized that the entire time I am assessing my breath, counting and making sure I exhale properly. I have to stop over thinking. Once I can breathe that way and not think about it, I will add kicks to the mix. Once I can add kicks and not think about it, I’ll worry about the strokes. It’s going to be challenging and will take a lot not to frustrate myself, but I am determined to make it to the end of that triathlon in September.
I have a pretty solid plan for the pool, but back to the bike. I always unclip from my “clip-less” pedals (who thought of that name?) with my right foot. My right foot is my rock, my stop pal and the foot I lean on naturally when on the bike. I know that in a pinch, I can get that foot out without issue and plant it firmly on the ground. That could be why I cringe at the thought of turning left. Maybe it’s the grand scheme of being on the bike in the road, and right turns are safer. I don’t know, but I have to figure it out. I did achieve one small goal. I turned left on the greenway….once. Baby steps, baby steps. My next ride will be left turn and adventure filled! Stay tuned!….