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…