Me in a swimsuit = more jiggles than Bill Cosby's favorite dessert. "See that wobble, see that jiggle..." I don't care. Swimming laps is really good for your heart, without the impact on the joints that running makes. So with birthday money from the in-laws, I bought passes to the local county pool.
I know how to swim. I just don't really know how to swim laps. I watched some instructional videos on YouTube. Breaststroke, backstroke and freestyle seemed doable.
And goggles! Everyone wears goggles. I threw down 13 bucks for goggles, squeezed into last year's swimsuit/swim-dress and hit the deck.
Gasp, there are 8 lanes open on one side and 4 more lanes opened on the deep water side. Where do I go? I asked the life-guard which lanes I could use. Cause, you know, I didn't already look enough like an out-of town tourist. I had to stop and ask for directions. "Excuse me, which lanes can I use?" He looks at me like I have two heads. Hopefully he will be of more help if I'm drowning...
I go for the shallow lanes. There appears to be some senior citizens at the far end. That's my speed. I notice that all the fit swimmers who look like they know what they're doing get out of the water and walk the deck with their goggles on top of their head. Heck yeah. I can do that. Now I look like I belong here. Holla! I sway across the deck, goggles resting on my hairline like all the cool kids.
Now, there are 8 lanes but only two ladders into the pool - one on each end. How do I get to the open lane in the middle? hmmm.. It specifically says no diving. Guess I have to swim under the ropes til I get to my lane. I climb down the ladder. I'm so worried about getting under the ropes before I collide with swimmers in the lane that I forget to put my goggles over my eyes. I come up from under the first rope with soaking, wet goggles. Shit! Now I have to wait for them to dry out before I can use them. I dip under the second rope, the third rope. Wait. The damned goggles have come off my head. I can't find them. I'm searching the water. I can't see without my glasses. The dude swimming in this lane stops.
"Did you lose some money?" wink.
"No. I lost my goggles. I'm sorry."
"I'll get them for you."
He dives under water and scoops up my goggles which are about 18" from my feet.
"Thanks. Sorry. I can't see without my (he's already swimming away) glasses..."
I leave the goggles to dry on the deck in front of my lane. Breaststroke. I don't need goggles for the breaststroke. I kick off. Hey, this isn't so bad. I feel normal. I look normal. Jesus, this lane is long. After two laps back and forth I check my goggles. They're dry. I strap them on. Now I can practice those under water drills I learned from YouTube. I dip down and kick off. About 20 feet later the goggles fill with water and fall off my head. ARGH. Now I have to walk them back to the ledge.
I decide to freestyle until the goggles dry. Holy shite. Does this lane ever end? I get 3/4 of the way there and I'm dying. This is harder than it looks, BUT being a woman of a little determination and enormous pride and ego, I refuse to stop. "Must keep going. You can do it. Do not look like a pathetic, out of shape mom who can't make one lap across the pool." I made it. I took three panting breaths and pushed off to freestyle back. I found a better pace. I did two more complete laps before I thought I might pass out or vomit if I tried another.
Then I switched to backstroke to catch my breath. Never mind that the 70+ year old woman beside me was lapping me. I did it! Without floating into another lane or whacking another swimmer, without bumping my head at the end, I did it. Before I knew it I had been in the water for forty minutes.
As I was getting out, I noticed a swimmer sit at the edge of her lane and carefully drop in. Ohhhhh. Why didn't I think of that?
So it's been done. I got over the biggest hurdle which is STARTING. I'm going back tomorrow.
Getting over myself: the best gift I can give me.