Sunday, January 5, 2014

Chlorine: The Breakfast of Champions (4 lengths/2 laps)


Learning to swim is one of the great accomplishments of my life.  As a kid, I didn't know how to swim. I grew up in Newark, New Jersey, and while I remember going to Asbury Park once or twice and maybe a water park on a school trip, we were not swimming folks.  All the swimming we ever did was done in the bathtub.  At the first college I attended, I had to take a required swim class my first semester because swimming proficiency was a requirement for graduation.  Once a week, I and a few other people who couldn't swim splashed under the tutelage of some guy whose name I can't remember now.
 When I went to graduate school in Los Angeles, I again decided that I was going to learn to swim.  I enrolled in a swimming class on campus and even took a class called "Swimming For People Who are Afraid of Water."  This class taught me that moving around in water is quite easy once I stop panicking.  I learned to roll from my front to back and how to spin in circles.  It was a blast!  In those few hours, I finally felt comfortable enough to get in deep water.  However, despite this newfound knowledge, I still didn't make time to swim much.

 When I met Brian, I discovered that he loved to be in the water and we had lots of swim dates.  (In fact, we went swimming on Father's Day and my apartment got burglarized.  a mess!)  Because he was so supportive (and by supportive I mean ridiculing in a loving way and fond of jumping on my shoulders), I began to swim laps (to get away from him).  However, I was still hesitant to go past the point where my feet could touch the ground.  Meanwhile kids around me are diving.  Good times.  Can I get my Michael Phelps on too?

One of my new fitness goals for this year is to learn the following strokes: butterfly, backstroke, and breaststroke.  Another goal is to swim a mile.  Future goals include diving into the water (I always walk into the pool) and swimming in the ocean (maybe.  I'm not that keen on being out there with the whales).  Right now I swim every Sunday, and today was Day 1 of Operation Different Strokes.  I spent about 20 minutes warming up in the big pool before sashaying over to the lap pool.  Chile, I made it across the pool and back 4 times for a grand total of 100 yards.  whoop whoop!  I can't remember the last time I swam so far.  I was all the way pooped out.  Halfway through the fourth length, I was ready to stop, but I kept pushing to the end.  After that, I earned a nice soak in the hot tub!  I'm going to keep it up.

Now I have to make time to swim during the week.  It's colder than pimp's heart right now, so I have to get hyped.  Gird my loins and all that.  I'll revisit my sweat schedule and see what I can do.  I might be able to squeeze in a swim after the hip hop and Zumba classes.  That might be really refreshing since I always leave there a sweaty mess.