Just keep swimming

January 14, 2012

Day 13,

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. My mind feels so clear when I’m in the pool doing laps. It’s just me and my thoughts. Someone once told me that they aren’t creative enough to swim. He said that he didn’t like his mind being that open to try and create distractions from constant swimming. I however love just hearing the water and my thoughts. There’s nothing like getting out of the pool after a nice swim. Muscles are relaxed and tired, but refreshed. I know many people don’t enjoy swimming even though it is one of the best harmless activities. Even 90 year old people can enjoy a slow paddle or aqua aerobics.

I learned to swim around 2 years old because we had a pool at our house and my parents were afraid I would sneak out and drown. I can actually remember crying in the pool when I was getting my first lessons. Even at a young age you learn that no matter how upset you are that when the instructor says hold your breath right before the dunk you definitely take a nice inhale and hold. The moment you get out the water you resume crying, but the instructors never seemed to be phased by it.

My parents got so much satisfaction from taking me and my sister to the public pools to watch other parents jump out of the seats when they saw a 3 and 5 year old jump into the water because they didn’t expect us to know how to swim. Demented parents, trust me I know. It wasn’t too long before I was competing in swim meets and getting the nice blue ribbons (participation award).

I don’t know why I transitioned from swimming to tennis. Swimming is so simple. All you really need is water. With tennis you need a court, racket, balls, opponent, proper shoes, and clothes. Maybe I was just trying to make it hard on my parents.

Now that I’m older and somehow I injured my hip (that’ll take a whole blog to cover) all I do is yoga and swimming. I now understand why I quit swimming. It’s not simple. It’s a hassle. I’d love to say I just walk outside my mansion to my limitless pool or private ocean beach whenever I feel like it and swim till the dolphins take me home. The only problem is that I’m not a pretentious jerk with a billion dollars to blow… oh but how I wish I was. Instead I grab my swimsuit, swim cap (yes I look adorable in it), goggles along with all my shower accessories eg. shampoo, deep conditioner (because chlorine and hair aren’t friends), and a towel. Then I go the gym’s pool and hope that the water’s warmer than it is outside.

First I do the slow dip while trying to stay on my tippy toes to keep my chest above water… for some reason that’s always the hardest to dunk when it’s cold. I wish I could say that I just dived in and took off swimming like back when I looked cute in a one piece. Unfortunately, I realized that if you haven’t swam in a while it can be quite a challenge. It’s not all hop in and doggie paddle like the good ol’ days. There are many difficulties you can face in the water… besides not knowing how to swim. Number one priority is getting a swimsuit that is sturdy enough to stay on you. So your sun bathing bikini isn’t the best choice. Also, make sure you don’t buy a white swim suit not realizing that once it’s wet it’s see through. For some reason you are never alone in the shower when you have this revelation. You might be standing in front a crowd who are all trying to learn how to swim with the dolphins when you notice that people can see more than just that you’re cold… honestly though what asshole makes a see through swimsuit? Anywho… I just feel really bad for that um friend who had that unfortunate experience.

Another common problem I have while swimming is water getting into my goggles. No mater how fancy the Michael Phelps sponsored goggles are they always leak every now and then. Then the rest of the day you have to explain why your eyes are so bloodshot… Geez guys it’s just the chlorine. I’m trying to be like Phelps… wait not like that… fine I’ll do the drug test.

The swim cap. I’m not quite sure of it’s purpose other than to make me look even more foolish since it doesn’t prevent the chlorine from destroying my hair. So it’s must be to keep hair out of my eyes along with ripping out strands when I put it on or take it off. But let’s just say that your suit isn’t see through, your goggles don’t leak, and your adorable swim cap keeps your locks in check then all you have left to do is push off the wall and don’t stop…. well until you get to that next wall. I don’t know how many times I’ve hit my head or the back of my hand on the wall. They should really put cushions there to prevent concussions. It took me about 20 times swimming over 100 laps to remember how to turn on the wall. I guess I could have just done the stop and turn, but if my 8 year old self can do it then it should come back to me at some time… just like riding a bike. Once I finally mastered the turn and could do a non-stop push off the wall it felt amazing. No more floundering and hitting my head. I finally got it… “Hey Amy where did you learn to do your turns?” asked the gym’s swim coach. Damn. So it still needed improvement. Secretly I watched the swim team and mimicked how they did it. Ya their way was better. Barely.

The next most detrimental problem I have in swimming is getting water up my nose. Why does it hurt so much? It feels like a hot prong went into my brain and no matter how much I blow through my nose it won’t go away. If I was ever going to torture someone I would force them to try turns in the pool… that’s bound to create bruises and send lava into their nostrils.

Don’t forget the swimmer’s ear. Seriously why do I even swim? This is a dangerous sport. Who cares about relaxed muscles and a clear mind. I can’t believe 90 year olds do this. Maybe it is all the problems that you endure in swimming that make it so rewarding when you get out of the pool? I hope this blog didn’t discourage you from swimming… unless you swim at my gym. I hate sharing a lane.

“Hey Mr Grump Gills 
You know what you gotta do when life gets you down?
Just keep swimming
Just keep swimming
Just keep swimming swimming swimming
What do we do we swim, swim, swim
OH HO HO How I love to swim”

my new swimsuit… also what not to wear swimming laps

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