... this is a good hurt, right?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

So once upon a time, probably about 20 years ago, I discovered the fabulous wonderfulness that is competitive swimming. I had been in swim lessons since I was iddo-bitty, but the discovery of structured swim workouts and being on a team made my fishlike tendencies all the more exciting. I really got into swimming in high school, and by my jr/sr year, I was on my school team and a club team. Yeah. I swam. A lot.

But then I went to college. And I just sort of ... fell out of the habit. I tried a few times in the 10 years since high school to get back into swimming, but when you're not swimming 4 hours a day any more, you kinda sorta lose some of your technique. Add to it the fact that I was no longer doing ANY exercise, and you're left feeling like a big ol pile of spaghetti noodles in the water. I hated it. I got frustrated and upset that swimming no longer felt ... the same. Instead of feeling like I was gliding through the water, I felt like I was slapping around like a drowning kid. And I gave up.

I'm drawn to water ... I can't walk by a pool without having to resist the urge to just jump in. It could be 50 degress out (ok, maybe more like 65, I live in SoCal after all), and that pool still looks inviting. Almost like it calls my name ...

Fast forward to about a week ago and a perfectly random thing occurred to me: if walking/running/weight lifting doesn't appeal, and if the trick is supposed to be finding what you love to do, why has it still been 10 years since I've been in a pool for anything more serious than a cool splash on a hot day?

I decided to give it another try, and I have decided to stick with it. Yeah, I am going to suck at first. My technique will probably be off, and instead of doing a 30-second 50, I'll probably do a 30-second 25. If that. So I dealt with the frustration of trying on bathing suits. Ick. I dug out my old swim stuff, and discovered (with great joy) that I still had my goggles (2 pairs, even!), a never-used swim cap (latex and chlorine just do not get along ... after 10 years, a used cap would have been reduced to a weird mush of sticky, crunchy plastic ... yeah, found one of those in my old swim bag, too), my fins, my pull-buoy, and even my old drag suits (wow, that was a wake-up call ... I used to think those were BIG ...). And I took myself over to that gym I never got around to canceling because, bonus!, they have an indoor pool.

And I got in. I was surprised how much I still remembered. My technique is still there, though inelegant; I can still do the alternate breathing thing every 3 to 5 strokes; I can remember free, back, and breast stroke (but don't ask me to do fly); and my flip turns are still smooth and (relatively) quick. I didn't even bother looking at the shot clock to find out what my intervals have been reduced to; today was just about getting back in the water and surviving 30 minutes.

I. loved. it. I hadn't realized just how MUCH I missed swimming and how GOOD it feels to be in the water. I missed this so much. (I didn't miss the smelling-like-chlorine part. Ick. 2 showers later and I still smell it on my hands.)

I didn't realize until I got in the car to go home that I have sorely (ha! literally ...) neglected many many muscles on my upper arms and shoulders and forearms and back. Ouch. I hurt. How on earth did I do this for 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year?!? I could barely move my arms to steer the car home.

Somebody pass the aspirin, please.

Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post

    Be the First to Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.