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Out of my box

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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

I like to think of myself as a fairly adventurous sort of person. Not adventurous as in white-water rafting, shark-fishing and so on, but someone who's always willing to do something different. This is how I originally came to be hiking on my own - I wanted exercise and fresh air, and didn't know anyone else who wanted to go hiking, so I bought a map and the rest is history.

And mud.

At the weekend, though, I realised just how much a creature of habit I really am, when it became clear that whatever I've done to my right foot isn't going to go away in a hurry (I originally did something to it on my 16-mile hike, and then hiking nine miles with Stonecot on Good Friday annoyed it further). I'd planned another couple of hikes over the Easter weekend and I realised yesterday I wasn't going to get them. I tried the stationary bike at the gym on Saturday instead, but it was ow ow ow.

So, here I was today, wanting exercise but not wanting to upset this foot further. Ruminated on the issue all of yesterday evening and finally concluded I was going to have to go for a swim today.

This may not be a big deal to most of you, but apart from the odd dip in the Med, I haven't swum in about 14 years. I like swimming ok, but I don't like swimming pools.

Get swimsuit out, check the size and it's only one size too big so should be ok (turns out to be a bit baggy round the nether regions, but so am I, so I can blame any wrinkles on the swimsuit). Pick up bag of gym doings and add swimsuit to it, set off.

Get to the pool, change, avoid looking at self wearing swimsuit in mirror as if I do I will NEVER leave the changing room, emerge at poolside with plugs in my ears and no specs so let's say I have limited awareness of what's going on around me. Enter water, cautiously. Swoosh off.

I am not what you'd call flashy in the water. I swim breaststroke without ever getting my face wet. Still, I start to trundle up and down the length of the pool. It's in lanes and I'm in the slow lane (you'd guessed?). After a while I see another person come to the edge of the pool and get in. There's only me in the lane but I lose sight of him. That is until he swims underneath me.

I mean, what a jerk. This isn't a usual thing to do is it? He's not a slow swimmer, he's simply picked this lane because it's the emptiest and for the next 15 minutes he passes me regularly, clipping my feet a couple of times and causing me to make a rapid detour once because he's swimming backstroke right down the middle of the lane and can't see me. There's not much I can do about it because I can't hear or see very far. I'm sure he'd rather have the lane to himself, but I'm determined to stick to it.

Anyway, I tell myself I'll do 10 lengths, then 16, then 20 and at 20 I do stop. Not bad given it's so long since I hit the chlorine. Really enjoyed it too.

I'll be back.

On the way home I buy watercress and an orange pepper and make myself a sumptuous salade Nicoise for lunch. The first photo attached to this blog is of my toes, taken on a Mediterranean beach a couple of years ago. A great place for swimming, not a million miles from Nice where they invented salade Nicoise. The photo below is my salade Nicoise. Am quite proud of myself for eating a salad on a day when the temperature outside is 46F (8C).

The link between the photos and the blog is somewhat tenuous but it was that or the outside of a municipal swimming pool.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You always get one! The salad looks lovely. I like salads in cold weather, they're so refreshing.
    1849 days ago
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    1849 days ago
  • DR1939
    Your gym should have some machines that work the arms and not the legs. I've used them when my knees were unhappy with walking or biking. If it's foot only maybe they have one where you push rather than cycle. Talk to someone at the desk at the gym. They should be able to give you some advice on alternate machines to use. The swim is good too.
    1849 days ago
    Glad you could get your swim in. I'm afraid it's still too cold where I am, unless I was a polar bear.
    1849 days ago
    Another fabulous blog...thanks. What a shame that there are people in our world who think they are more important than anyone else. But, 'what goes around, comes around' and one day someone will 'get' him. I'm glad you didn't let him drive you out of your routine. How smart of you to find something you can do that won't aggravate that foot. I pray for you that it will heal completely before long. The salad looks delish.
    1849 days ago
    Good for you! It would have been very easy to say, "my foot hurts, so I can't do any exercise", but instead you found a different way to work out. I'm a slow swimmer too, and don't like having anyone else in "my" lane. It would freak me out completely to have someone pass me underneath! I hope I would accidently kick him in the head and maybe he'd go somewhere else.

    I wrote on your activity feed that I had to stop swimming because the chlorine bothered my skin, but since I've given up wheat and have been using more moisturizer, my leg has completely cleared up and I'm just about ready to try going to the pool again.

    Hope your foot feels better soon, but don't push yourself too hard.

    1849 days ago
  • NIKKIJ55
    Glad you could get a swim. In! That guy should have been more respectful though. I don't think that was right if him to swim in your lane
    1849 days ago
    Hope your foot feels better soon.
    1849 days ago
    I hope your foot heals quickly. Good for you in finding other ways to exercise in the mean time.
    1849 days ago
  • JERICHO1991
    Good job of not using an injury as an excuse not to exercise, and finding something else to help you meet your goals.
    1849 days ago
    I do water aerobics in a therapy pool and love it---not much of a swimmer and like the warm water part of mine. Too bad about the foot---did you twist the ankle or do you have a bone spur forming? I had one and it was extremely painful---I do have some exercises to pass along if you have messed up that tendon in your foot that will help---let me know.
    1849 days ago
  • L1ZB3TH354
    Switching things up is a great thing. Have fun!
    1849 days ago
    Yes, what a jerk! Shame on him. Pool bully. Good for you for standing your
    1849 days ago
    Love it!

    (and you should totally try white water rafting. SO fun!)
    1849 days ago
    Another great blog. So smart to try swimming instead of your hiking - less pressure on your joints. It will give your foot a chance to heal.
    1849 days ago
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