My apologies for any typos, because I am headed to - you guessed it - the pool.
When I started swimming ten days ago, I had no idea it would become an obsession for me. Today I completed my seventh swim workout, and I wanted to share my experiences so far...
Day One was hard. I took the next day off because I went to EBAS stretch class and ballet. Last Friday, JC came with me to the pool and worked, poolside, while I swam. Much to my amazement (and his), I did 75 laps. JC noted that my swimsuit - bought at Goodwill as part of my swim experiment - was waterlogged and causing resistance. We went to Dick's sporting goods and he bought me a new mask (I don't know the technical terms, but it is a full eye mask, as opposed to just barely covering the eyes), as well as a Speedo Hydroslice, and an extra swim cap.
Day Three (Saturday morning), I swam 65 and sliced through the water so easily in the new suit. I felt like a dolphin. I wanted to do more, but alas, it turns out that bacon and eggs before swimming was a poor choice.
Day Four saw me at 56 laps, because people turned up to use the pool, and I didn't want to be in their way.
Day Five I did 85 laps! There were people there - and I think I possibly broke up someone's romantic interlude - but they said they were swimming laps. Riiiiight. So I got in the water and swam as well.
Day Six I got down to the pool late - 8pm late. A grandmother and granddaughter turned up, and they were just lovely! I swam 60 laps, mostly freestyle, but with 5 backstroke laps. The granddaughter called four more laps that the three of us swam together: Freestyle, backstroke, breast stroke, and then we all treaded water for one lap.
As it turns out, I have found that the breast stroke is the best way to get the pool water directly into my sinus cavities and down my throat.
Today - 14 hours after my previous swim workout - I got down to the pool and swam 100 laps! I was, quite frankly, astonished. For one, yesterday not only did I do the swim workout, but I worked hard in EBAS stretch and ballet, and was feeling the fatigue inside my hips and lower back. For another... that made 164 laps in fourteen hours.
I have encountered various people at the pool who have all been surprised to learn that I started ten days ago. "I couldn't do that", is the refrain I hear again and again.
And I say "You couldn't be more wrong. Anyone can swim. You do it one lap at a time, and take your time, and be stubborn."
And yes, this has been an exercise in stubborn-ness, and I absolutely love every stroke of it!
Here are the things I have seen and realized in the past ten days:
1. The sunlight coming through the trees and into the water, dapples the insides of the pool like a giraffe's skin. There are not really words to describe how lovely it is.
2. When I swim, I live entirely in the moment. I spend the lap experimenting with hand and arm placements, moving my head, trying to see what works and what does not. I don't hurry. Hurrying will wear you out - and it can get you in trouble.
I count one lap at a time, and it is an exercise in meditation.
3. When I backstroke, I tend swim all higgledy-piggledy-crooked. So now I have a favorite tree on each side of the pool that I use to keep myself aligned. One of them is named Goliath. I haven't chosen a name yet for the other tree.
4. Sometimes, I can go straight through ten laps, rest 30-60 seconds and go right back into another ten. Sometimes, it's all about one or two laps at a time.
But if I stick with it, I will ultimately get a second wind somewhere between #50-60. If I can get past 50, I can keep going.
5. My caffeine intake is down by about 1/3 to 1/2 of what it has been for years. I don't crave coffee like I normally do.
6. Swimming just makes me happy. Happy obsessed.
If you are able, you should try it. Set a small goal, start with 20, but give yourself permission to take lots of breaks. You aren't competing with anyone. Slow and steady.
p.s. - Dick's Sporting Goods price matches - I was able to show them that the swimsuit was nearly $20 less on Amazon and they matched it, with no hassle, and a very friendly smile. :)