Just keep swimming… – The Shrinking Jeans of Thea


April 22, 2010 By thea

I love the pool.  I’m a big fan of chlorine and being able to see the bottom and not swimming with other species of living things.  I love playing with the kids and splashing around and seeing how far I can get underwater while holding my breath.

That being said, I’m a nervous swimmer.  I know how to swim, but I’m just not all that strong.  I definitely prefer breast stroke to freestyle.  I know how to do freestyle, I just never learned to do it correctly.  My breathing gets all messed up and I panic and I stop.

I have not swum (swam, swimmed, swim past tense) a lap in 20+ years.

But I decided that it was time to get in the pool again.  I bought myself a swimsuit (as opposed to a sit-by-the-pool suit), a swim cap and some goggles.  Then I printed out a copy of the gym’s lap pool schedule and put it next to my to-do list.

And there it sat for a full month.  All of it.  I never took the tags off of any of the stuff that I bought and I never even looked at the lap schedule.

But yesterday, I bit the bullet and did it.  I packed up my stuff and headed to the pool. And I swam 200 meters.  And I didn’t die.  I was really happy I didn’t die.

Here are some things that I learned and some observations I had:

  • I loathe locker rooms.  I’ve always hated them. In high school, I was the one who changed in a stall after gym class. I don’t like disrobing in front of people…which is exactly what I did yesterday.  It wasn’t until AFTER the swim that I found changing rooms that I could use.  Good to know for next time.
  • I need to get a cheap pair of flip flops.  I fear that I have athlete’s foot growing on me as we speak because I walked through the locker room and pool deck in bare feet.
  • I purposely didn’t bring my goggles and swim cap because I didn’t want to seem like the overzealous newbie who was trying to be all hard core.  It turns out that I was the only one that DIDN’T have that stuff.  And the fact that I wanted to claw my eyes out all day yesterday is a good indication that goggles are your friend.
  • I tried the freestyle for a few strokes and didn’t do too badly.  I just had to stop because (in the absence of aforementioned swim cap) my hair kept getting in my eyes and I couldn’t see where I was going.
  • When in doubt, ask.  Before I ever got in the water, I was asking people about stuff I wasn’t sure about.  I asked another woman in the locker room (we were both dressed) what she did with her locker key while she was in the pool.  When I wasn’t sure which lanes were for open swim, I asked the lifeguard on duty.
  • Nothing is as scary as your mind works it up to be.

I need to figure out a schedule of how I’m going to fit swimming into my schedule (the lap times are a bit tricky), but I’m thinking that swimming is here to stay…