I got a surprise today at the pool – Seniors Discount! I saved $14 on my 10-punch pass card. If that’s one of the perks of turning 60, I like it.
I must admit, I was nervous getting in the pool and swimming 60 lengths on my own. Who was going to keep track of the lengths? I usually swim with a friend and we share that task, pushing ourselves and keeping each other on track. She couldn’t make it today.
The swim lanes were not busy. I steered myself to my regular spot. I had the lane to myself. As usual, the initial plunge was freezing! The first 10 lengths are always an adjustment; 4 to 6 lengths before I settle into the side to side breathing, the metallic taste from my fillings and the pool water, keeping track of the counting.
I count my lengths in groups of 10, starting over again at 1 but jumping to 20, 30 etc. The counting is so boring, almost discouraging. I have this voice in my head constantly talking to me. How many was that, 4, 5? I can’t really think of other things while swimming but I am conscious of my stroke; elbows up and out, hands not crossing in front of my stroke, initiating the kick from the hips, rolling to each side.
When I hit 30, I was half way there. Downhill after that if you work the pyramid approach. I noticed the black lines in the bottom of the pool more than usual. Played a game of keeping on one side going up and the other side coming down. At 40 lengths, I felt strong. My stroke was pushing me through the water like Pacific White-Sided Dolphins gliding. Ok, that’s a bit much.
The last 10 lengths, I got excited and I was sweating by now. The multi-color triangle flags seemed to be coming sooner indicating I had 2 strokes before hitting the wall and turning. I don’t exercise the fancy turns, too much water up my nose. I do the one hand touch and double foot push. Next thing I knew, I was done. I was pleased, satisfied with my swim, feeling good.
Swimming goes back to my university days when I was on the UNB varsity team. I loved the training, the camaraderie but not the events. I would freeze on the starting block. Hearing the gun go off, my legs would give out. It was like swimming with a piano tied to my butt. I couldn’t stay in the middle of the lane on my backstroke, obviously one arm stronger than the other. I never mastered the butterfly stroke with its dolphin kick. (Who thinks of these names, butterfly and dolphin in the same stroke? WTF!) I don’t know how I stayed on the team. I considered synchronized swimming but then again I couldn’t hold my breath that long.