Sunday, June 21, 2009

Back from Hiatus


Well, I am back in the pool after a 20-odd year hiatus.

I am feeling my age. My joints just aren’t up to long runs or running every day. My knees routinely complain by creaking as I climb the stairs. So what do you do when you still need to exercise but your body is weak? In my case, I started looking for ways to break up the exercise routine. With summer arriving here in the hot and steamy east and me looking for any relief from the constant humidity, I guess it was only a matter of time before I jumped in the pool again.

I used to love swimming. When I was eight, I was on the swim team for a summer, and I rocked the competition out of the water, coming in routinely first place in the 25 meter free and back. Oh, yeah. That’s right. I am re-living The Glory Days. I loved the pool, and I went through all the swimming classes offered at our local YMCA, even mastering the horrid butterfly stroke (o.k. so I never actually mastered it—my upper body strength has never been my strong suite. But I totally mastered the theory.) At some point though, I stopped swimming. I think it was about the time that I started caring about what I looked like. I heard horror stories of chlorine turning your hair into brittle, coarse twine, and that was the end. I have always been a bit vain about my hair.

Now, 20 years later, I am in the pool again, and while I am sure my form is a bit rusty, at least I remember more or less how the strokes should feel. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of my endurance. At one point in my life, I had no problems with 200 meters (which is still a really short distance). Now, I can barely make it 25 before I need to stop and catch my breath. I think I need to remember how to breathe. In any case, I can’t say that I am getting a killer workout since I am now the world’s slowest swimmer—with people passing me on their little blue kick boards. I hope though, this improves with time.

Oh, and my hair issue? (Because although I would like to say that I have become less vain about my hair, that wouldn’t be entirely true.) I have learned that you can prevent a lot of the adverse chlorine effects by wetting your hair thoroughly, applying conditioner, and then wearing a swim cap. So, yeah. I am working that system. So far, so good.

Here is to a summer of revisiting past hobbies, relearning old skills, and keeping the heat at bay.

1 comment:

Melanie said...

Good for you! I wish that I had joined the swim team in high school. There were no cuts and I was always jealous of how toned and tanned the girls on the swim team would get, but the thought of wearing my swim suit with NO SHORTS in front of the hottest guys on campus was just way too mortifying.

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