About a month ago, D and I started going to the pool at his school to swim laps. It was kind of a big deal for me as I hate to try new things and I’m kind of uptight about my workout routine, but I actually liked it and it’s been going pretty well. D is, it turns out, an amazing swimmer. Seriously, the man is absolutely at home in the water. Me...not so much, but I try to splash along with the best of them.
usually go twice a week and swim for about 45-60 minutes at a time.
Well, I take lots of breaks in that hour, but D swims almost
continuously. It’s fun to have an activity that we can do together (D
will run with me maybe once a week, but he doesn’t love it as much as I
do) and it’s nice to be out of the hot weather. My joints also really
appreciate the no-impact cardio. I can tell that I’m getting better at
it, which is a nice feeling. I don’t always get that immediate feedback
with running, especially because I’ve been doing it for so long, but to know that this week I swam more laps than last week is
the thing...I’m kind of terrible at freestyle (/front crawl?), and
prefer to do breaststroke, which I feel is more manageable for me.
What’s my problem? I guess freestyle feels very chaotic, and I always
manage to splash myself in the face when I come up for water and try to
breathe under my arm. You would not believe how much pool water I have
accidentally ingested this summer. I’m pretty much the picture of form
and grace. Breaststroke, on the other hand, feels graceful and calm. I
can stretch my arms out and get a really good stroke in, and it doesn’t
leave me hopelessly breathless. Which I’m sure also means it’s not as
good of a workout, but oh well. I usually end up doing about ⅔
breaststroke, ⅓ freestyle for my workout. I hope to improve that ratio
to include more freestyle, but it’s hard to make myself do something I
also noticed that the pool attracts a wide cast of characters, and I
love to observe people and how they interact with others and with the
pool. I’m buoyed (har) by the fact that some people are even worse at
swimming than I am (or than I think I am--this is debatable). There are
also people who are really pretty good. I’m intimidated/inspired by
those folks. I’ve noticed that most of the foreign men completely
unabashedly wear the smallest swim bottoms I’ve ever seen, no matter
their physique. The American men almost all wear baggy boardshorts.
don’t know that I’ll continue to swim through the winter (leaving the
pool with wet hair in the summer is bad enough) but for now, it’s a good
addition to my workout and I’m glad I tried it. Now if only I could
figure out how to listen to music while I swam...