Conquer Your Fears

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on April 24, 2010

Swimming laps is FUN!


But first, the winner of the 4lb Amazing Grass giveaway!


Congrats to CARLY!!!

Carly said, “My turning point was when I got sick of being in a body I didn’t feel comfortable with. I didn’t want to be a the beach for another summer feeling the same crappy way. During the same time I also became completely inspired by reading your blog and so many amazing other health blogs! Watching these strong, confident, driven women made me realize that I am the same way and I can do it too! Thanks for all your inspiration Angela! :) p.s. I made my first green monster today!”

Carly, please email me ([email protected]) with your mailing address.

For those of you who didn’t win, Amazing Grass is offering Oh She Glows readers a special 20% off discount code- just use ‘OHSHEGLOWS’ in the checkout!


Before leaving for the pool last night, I was so excited and nervous. However, once I put my new swimsuit on, I felt confident. There is something to be said about a new piece of workout gear for inspiration!

I had a few almost freak-out moments once we were there, in the flesh…


1) Seeing a gross band-aid stuck on the garbage can in the change room.

2) Two minutes before 8pm, our swim was about to begin. I FROZE with fear. I was this close to saying to Eric I didn’t want to go in the water. We decided to sit on the sidelines for a couple minutes and just watch. I visualized myself rocking the laps!

3) Walking 4 feet to the pool without my flip-flops on. Ick.

4) Seeing a small white mystery object floating underwater, approaching me as I swam closer. I dodged it like a bullet and hoped that it sunk to the ground. Whew.

Here is what I ended up doing:


I swam 750 metres (30 pool lengths) in 40 minutes. I took plenty of rest breaks and just took it nice and easy with no pressure! After lap 1, my body was in shock and I was panting for air. I found that I got used to it after a few laps and got into a nice rhythm. I alternated between the front stroke and breaststroke.

Question: If our pool length is 25 metres, what is considered a lap- 25 m or 50 m?

What I learned after Day 1:

  • The slow lane is our friend
  • Leave about half a length in between me and the person in front
  • Bring two towels. I only brought one towel and it got soaked before I even showered.
  • GET EAR PLUGS (many of  you mentioned this). I still have water logged in my right ear this morning. Anyone know any tricks to get it out?
  • Good goggles are essential. I loved my new goggles and they work great!
  • It really isn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be!
  • Peeling off a swim cap hurts
  • Bring a lock for the locker
  • Saunas feel amazing after a swim
  • A lesson would be very helpful

After we got home we were hungry and thirsty and each snacked on a Glo Bar:


This morning my tummy was rumbling and I had a lovely bowl of Vegan Overnight Oats waiting for me! I love coming down to breakfast ready to go.


After coming out of the fridge overnight:


In this bowl: 1/3 cup oats, 1/2 scoop Amazing Grass Chocolate Powder, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 3/4 cup almond milk, 1 banana, mashed.


My toppings included Nuts 2 You cashew butter (this brand isn’t as good as Artisana) and my Reduced-sugar maple coconut syrup.


Oh this was soooooo good. I am absolutely hooked.


I had it along with a fresh juice:


I have come to the conclusion that I do not like celery in my juice! It tasted murky.

IMG_4978 (2)

With my creation (along with crazy bed head!)

IMG_0448 (2) 

By the way, I am so proud of Eric!!

He did awesome last night. Especially for someone who has never had lessons before. We chatted about it more and I think he is now open to the idea of taking a lesson with me so I am going to look into it.

When Eric was a young boy, his class had to do 3 swimming sessions together. Well, Eric couldn’t swim and he got teased by all the kids! Him and another boy had to wear lifejackets to help them swim during these sessions and the kids teased them and laughed. He was so embarrassed because he couldn’t swim well.

He said ever since then he has disliked it and had no confidence when it came to swimming. I am so proud of him that he is conquering this huge fear of his. I am really trying to encourage him as much as I can and help build his confidence. I don’t want him to get overwhelmed, but just to take it one day at a time. He was really worn out and out of breath so I just encouraged him to take lots of breaks and get out of the water and drink water. I think that really helped him and he didn’t feel pressure to crank out a gazillion laps.

Today’s question- Were you ever teased about something as a kid that stuck with you for years? Did you ever find a way to get past it?

When I was young I got my share of teasing! One thing that sticks out in my mind was a boy who told me my arms were too big and muscular. This happened in grade 7 and it stuck with me for years and years. When Eric and I started dating he confessed to me that he loved my arms and thought they were so attractive. It took me YEARS to believe him and to start appreciating my arms for what they do for me each day.

Including BAKING, which is where I am going now for the next several hours! Eric is going to be working on renos today. After that we are going back to Swim & Sports to get some ear plugs. :)

Have a great Saturday!

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

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Mariepouliche April 24, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Hey Angela!
I compete in swimming for five year and worked beside a public pool for 8 years. Always barefoot and nothing gross happen to me :) No infection, no disease… Hope it will make you feel better!

If the pool your swimming is 25 meter lenght, then 25m= 1 lap. It’s this swim in competition!

Congrats to Eric, that is very brave of him.

*Apologizes my writting, english isn’t my first language.


Sandra April 24, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Hi Kate,

Congrats on your first swim! I’m lounging here after my swim class and just came across your site. I’m in the Kitchener area and am thinking you must be in the T.O. area (the Swim and Sport reference made me realize it -what a great store eh?). I am training for my first try-a-tri this summer. You are mentioning that you would like lessons. I can highly recommend joining a “Masters Class” (just a name, don’t be afraid! LOL!) nearby. Call “Swim and Sport” for a masters class near you as the girls there are coaches and lifeguards for various master classes in the area. I joined one back in January and it was the best thing I’ve done to improve my swimming. I was told it was great for triathlon trainers. Lots of tips and practice in the water. :) I’ll be popping in again for sure!


Sandra April 24, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Ummm, okay, perhaps I should become accustomed to your website BEFORE calling you by your proper name (not Kate!). Sorry about that Angela!! I was just so excited to see someone else trying out a try-a-tri! :)


Lisa April 24, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Cool! Glad you like swimming laps now. It’s my favorite. :)

Put alcohol on a q-tip and stick it in your ear. The alcohol evaporates the water. :)


Mary April 24, 2010 at 1:47 pm

I’m so glad you enjoyed swimming!! I used to swim competitively in Middle and High school. Tips for getting water out of your ear? You can get ear drops, but I usually put a little rubbing alcohol on a q-tip and rub it around in your ear. Dont JAM it in there though! you’ll pop your ear drum. Also, try wetting your head before you put a swim cap on. it helps when you go to pull it off. A silicone cap also reduces hair pullage… and decreases mold production as fast :)


Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter April 24, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Great job swimming some laps! I’m still a bit afraid to do that. I’m not too big of a water person.


Susan April 24, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I forgot to mention it before – when I did my tri training I did adult lessons at the YMCA and it helped IMMENSELY. 100% do it!! I know the Y here has adult drop-in times, is that where you’ve been going?

Oh, and when I used to swim all the time, I noticed a huge change in my hair texture from the chlorine. I bought some Aveda shampoo specifically meant for pool damage and it really helped :)

You and Eric are going to awesome!!


Michelle April 24, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Great job on the swimming! I tried swimming a bit not too long ago, and it’s alot more intense than I realized!
Does the cap actually keep your hair dry???


Molly (Fuel Her Up) April 24, 2010 at 2:33 pm

I learned how to swim in a huge open water creek with strong currents, and later took swim lessons every weekend for years to learn strokes and gain speed. I don’t remember how I “learned” but I’m so glad I did. Being able to swim is a great skill!


amie April 24, 2010 at 3:03 pm

yay swimming!! i’ve been a competitive swimmer for almost 20 years and have coached swimming for 12 years and love love love it!
– put baby powder/talcum powder in your swim cap after it dries. that way it’ll go on waaaay easier next time. to make it easier to get off, dunk your head under while taking it off
– pools are CLEAN. i’ve also lifegaurded for ages and we were constantly cleaning with some hardcore chemicals. really, pools are so clean. anything that gets in there will die within seconds! so dont worry about that!
– to sound like a pro, call the front stroke “freestyle”. the other 3 competitive strokes are breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly
– a lap is 25m in a 25 m pool
– water in the ear sucks. i used to be sitting in class at university and my ears would drain onto the desk, gross! you can get swimmer drops at the drugstore, they’re basically rubbing alcohol and will dry up all the water in your ear. or you can try jumping on one foot with your head held to the side! always best done in an empty change room! hahaha

good luck with your training!!


mel April 24, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I was teased because I was sooo skinny….until I was 20…it was really tough for me when I was 12, 13 because the boys were so mean, called me african-kid and of course at this age you want to be liked by boys;) I remember I went to the doctor and she told me I should eat pasta every night in order to gain weight…which I did, but unfortunatly it didn’t help, I just ended up hating pasta until today:)At the age of 15 I used to wear layers of clothing just to appear a little bit thicker…and I never wore t-shirts because I was so ashamed of my stick-thin arms…oh well when I turned 20 it changed, now I don’t look like a stick anymore but I have to eat like a horse to maintain my weight…but I still hate it because when I lose weight (which happens quickly) I get comments all the time…so I am still insecure about that


jaclyn April 24, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Good for you and Eric with your triathlon training! I recently found your blog and I love it. You are so inspiring. =)

I was teased all my childhood because I was so petite. I was always the smallest kid in my classes and I got no end of ribbing about it. One boy in kindergarten told me I was “smaller than a piece of dust” and sent me home crying. Then in seventh grade, I was running for student council. We had to give a speech in front of the entire grade (about 350 kids) and I couldn’t see over the podium, so I made the best of it by taking the mic out in front and saying “I don’t believe in podiums.” Well, I said that to 350 twelve-year-olds, so you’d better believe I was Podium Girl from that day until I graduated high school. To this day, I hate podiums. I guess I got past it by doing moot court in law school – I had to stand on a crate, but I was all “Whatevs, I’m gonna rock your world with the quality of my legal analysis.” (Oh, did I mention I am not a super cool person?) I’ve finally made my piece with being short – no more giant platform shoes ruining my feet – I think what did it was, all my life, my mom told me being short is the best because you can date short guys AND tall guys, but tall girls can only date tall guys. (Okay, not exactly true, but when you’re 13 it’s what you need to hear.) I ended up marrying a very cute, tall guy who loves that I am little. I’m cool with myself now, but I’m not going back to any of my high school reunions. I may be okay now but I have no desire to be Podium Girl for even one more night.


Stacey April 24, 2010 at 4:14 pm

I had overnight oats for the first time and loved it. There is so many great combo’s also.


Julie @ Wearing Mascara April 24, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Can’t wait to hear about your new glo bar pack. Interestingly, I got made fun of for my short legs coined as “chicken legs.” Now I’m a running fool :-) I laugh at that! lol


Julie @ Pickley Pe!ar April 24, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Love the oats – perfect! I’m glad you got over the pool fear – I’ve been a swimmer forever and still get a weird feeling about getting in the water and it being cold :) Once you’re in, you’re good! Wet steam sauna is the best part, for sure!


Nadia April 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Hi Ange! I’ve been wanting to order amazing grass, but I’m also Canadian and I’d heard that the combo of duty/shipping made it a bit ridiculous. Do you know anything about it? Thanks!


AGS April 24, 2010 at 6:16 pm

I was teased about two things regarding sports growing up, and both times I’m figured out a way around in (in large part thanks to my parents). I was one of the last kids on the block to learn to ride a bike. I got brutally teased by one boy, and somehow my Mom found out She took me and an old used up and down a bikepath, until I got the hang off it. My brother and I rode our bikes endlessly together years after that. The second area was throwing a football — I couldn’t get the spin. I told my Dad that I was terrible at this unit in gym class, and no one would play with me (didn’t help I was the new girl in 5th grade that year). He took me out several days in a row after school to practice throwing a football. To this day I am PROUD of the spin when I throw, and have gotten high praise from my husband (who played quarterback).


Mary @ What's Cookin' with Mary April 25, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Back in the day everyone called me Mary Esther (go by Mary now) bc my Mom’s name is Mary. I have big teeth, which used to be the very thing kids used to pick on me for by calling me Mary Easter (as in Easter bunny)… Now, everyone says I have ‘perfect teeth’ and a beautiful big smile… Funny how things change ;)


Carolyn @ lovinlosing April 26, 2010 at 2:06 pm

If you’re not worried about getting your hair wet, but just keeping it out of your face, I suggest a Lycra/Spandex swim cap. I am also training for a tri and after reading reviews that’s what I went with and I like it.


Kat April 26, 2010 at 4:14 pm

This is a little late posting but I am just now catching up on the posts over the weekend! I had to comment because when I was in junior high an older guy said my arms looked like a MANS. I was mortified. I am STILL super self concious about my arms even tho I have since lost weight and kept them toned, not so bulky and muscular. Everyone compliments me on my arms – but I sill cringe when I leave the house in a tank top. So crazy how that stuff sticks with you. I bet that guy would be shocked if he knew I remembered he said that!


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