My Swimming Inspiration - Hillary Biscay
When you think about swimmers the first name that comes to mind is probably Michael Phelps, or Jason Lezak right now. If you are a triathlete you are probably thinking of Andy Potts or Sara McLarty, but if you are myself, or know Ironman swimmers well, you think Hillary Biscay.
If you are a subscriber to her blog, then you know Hillary's first love is swimming and she thoroughly enjoys smashing herself daily in the water. If you are not a reader of her blog, then I recommend you become a subscriber as it is a great blog and updated almost daily. Hillary often mentions in her blogs about the 100x100's set, or more aptly named the "Birthday Set". It is workouts such as these where swimming 10k in the pool is her idea of fun, even on a birthday, and really brings about the pure love and enjoyment she has for swimming. I seemed to have guided myself towards Hillary, her blog, and her love for swimming over the past year.
Through the past couple of years as I have evolved myself as much as I can in the sport of triathlon, I have noticed that a lot of my inspiration in the pool comes from Hillary. Many of times when I am dreading the drive to the pool at 5:30am in sub-zero temps I just think about Hillary's love for swimming and try to immerse myself into that love as well, or I think WWHD "What Would Hillary Do".
It is no secret that I found myself into this sport through my cycling, but it was swimming for me that was my first love...err first sport I participated in back when I was at the young tender age of 5. I swam on the local swim team for a handful of years before passing up the sport, one sport I wished that I never did quit back then. I remember watching the olympics every 4 years and thinking to myself, "why did I stop swimming?". Then when I went of to college I made a lot of close friends that were on the swim team, wishing I was part of their inner-swimming circle. Now I feel that I have come full circle back towards my love and appreciation for swimming, but this time in the sport triathlon. Triathlon has reintroduced me into swimming, and exposed me as well to open-water swimming, one of my favorite sessions each week (few weeks of that happening here in Wisconsin). It is the discipline that I am best at and and enjoy the most. My inspiration comes from Hillary and she has been a huge contributor for me to reconnect myself with the pool.
But the real inspiration and motivation she gives me is to push myself as hard as I can in the water. My first handful of swims back in the pool three years ago and I could barely swim a full lap without gasping for air. A year later, and after recovering from a broken arm I once again found myself in the same position barely able to complete a lap. Here I am three years later and now do swims usually of 3-5K, something I never imagined a few years ago. But there is one distance that I am truly hungry for, and without Hillary this distance would never have been thought possible by myself. Yep 10k, 100x100's! I remember reading her blog about this set she deemed the "Birthday set" and instead of questioning "why" I questioned "how" as in, "How am I going to get myself to the point where I can swim 100x100's?"
The seed has been planted and a super set needs a super day. Super Bowl Sunday has a whole new meaning now and two reasons to enjoy the day. Check back with a report on my first 100x100 set after the Packers win again!
The 100x100 set will also be my first episode of my video documentary series of training for Ironman #2: IMWI.