Monday night I agreed to go swimming with my friend Michelle. Remember her? The super fit, “I can run a sub 4hr marathon” Michelle. Jeeeeeeesus whyyyyy did I commit to that? Well, I did because I need some help hauling my arse off the couch and back into my recovery program which involves a small amount of running and a fuckload of core work. Anyone who knows me well knows I hate getting wet. I just don’t like it. But, I know that swimming is excellent for my knee’s recovery, plus I had a volunteer swim buddy so why the fuck not? The evening proceeded in a number of stages.
Stage 1: Swimming attire
I was going deep water running. What does one require for deep water running. I had bathers and goggles so far. Then what? Do I need to wear shorts? I obviously don’t need my runners, or my garmin… sooo…. oh, a towel, yes yes yes a towel… wait, do I even need goggles if my head’s not going under the water? Ok.. bathers, goggles (just in case), towel (def need that)… what about cute “over the bathers” outfit? It had to be something that I could put on afterwards without too much hassle because I just wanted to get back in the car afterwards. Trackies? Nah, too wet… shorts? I dunno… Ok fuck… I opted for 3/4 tights… and thongs… and a huge jacket because it was cold outside.
Stage 2: Arrival
Appropriately clad with suitable outfit I attended the front desk of the leisureplex and announced I would like to enter. It never ceases to amaze me that receptionists (whose job it is is to assist you entering) act surprised that you’re in front of them and what was that? You want to go in where? The pool fuckhead. The pool. Clearly by my large jacket, umbrella and thongs you can see I require entry to the swimming hole behind you. I grumbled about the $6.20 entry fee. For fuck sake that was a lot! Oh and $1 to hire a noodle. Yay.
Stage 3: Commence swimming
I located Michelle and dumped my stuff down. It was time to shed my large jacket and get into the damn pool. Fuck you Michelle for making me do this. Right. I stripped off and presented myself to the edge of the pool where Michelle had already done a few laps. Normally my entrance into water of this magnitude involves me getting yanked in by the wrists by my husband amid loud squeals interspersed with marital threats. With nobody to offer such encouragement today, I had to plunge in alone. Ok I was not alone, there were a heap of school kids swimming laps looking at me funny because I was just staring at the water instead of swimming in the water. Finally I did it.. blergghhhhhhh it was cold and wet. Damn water, it always is. Once in I felt ok, sporty even. I donned my goggles (hastily snatched from my 11 year old son) and took off for my first lap. The goggles are mirror goggles, yanno, like the ones Olympic swimmers wear? I definitely looked the part. I realised with dismay that Michelle had fins on. Oh. Goddammit. I missed the memo about being allowed to wear swimming aids. Of course! It’s not the fucking Olympics Didi, it’s just a few laps – fins are allowed. FML. Ima get me some.
First lap (up and back) I did ok. I’m not a strong swimmer. I did freestyle up and breaststroke (aka I am too fucked to swim freestyle) back. Phew! I made it! As I looked down the lane I realised I had no fucking idea how long the pool was. Was it 25m? or 50m? It looked long, it felt long, but fuck me, it could have been 25m for all I could tell. I felt like a fuckhead. Had I really just struggled to swim 2 x 25m? Ohhh mannn…. I had to ask Michelle. She laughed at me but confirmed that it was indeed a 50m pool. Hooray my swim distance (and feelings of self importance) had just doubled. I managed 2 more laps – for a total of 300m. At one end of the pool were a group of Masters swimmers. Hooray for me. I had an audience from 25m watching to see if I was going to make it. Watching my form loll all over the place. Watching me delicately inhale a mouthful of water because I was concentrating too much on stroke technique instead of the essential breathing technique. Dammit…
Then we did some deep water running. It’s hard with a noodle because apart from looking like a small, energetic child bobbing up and down, the noodle actually chafed a bit after a while, but I did feel like I was having a workout. If I ever do this again I’d like to wear a trendy belt like Michelle has. It’s hard swimming without contact lenses. My vision is something like this:
Following the “running” we walked in the kiddy pool for a while. That was fun. Actually, the walking was not fun, hanging out with Michelle was fun. That’s the best thing about exercising with someone, it’s the hell excuse for a gasbag. I was sporting some serious pruney fingers by the time we called it quits. And I felt pretty good.
As we said seeya later I offered Michelle my umbrella to get to the car. She noted that it probably didn’t matter considering we were both considerably drenched already. Oh. Yeah.