Tuesday, March 6, 2012

SOLC Day 6 Morning Swim

A few mornings a week, when it's still dark outside, I drag myself to an indoor swimming pool to exercise before I get to school to teach. I watch the long lean high school swimmers, silicone caps on head, rearrange the swim lane lines from the 50 meter distance to the 25 meter distance after their 5:30 am workouts. They're readying for us; the mostly recreational swimmers. I watch the masters swimmers, with their tight swim caps, their special goggles, their individual sets of fins, kickboards, their structured workouts and water bottles get to the pool edge just as I do. I grab a kickboard from the bin, pull out my water bottle, stretch my goggles over my head and hop in. I can see the other swimmers when I turn to breathe on one side. Their precise, sleek strokes are propelled by quick kicks. They look smooth. I make a mental note to get my elbow a little higher before my hand breaks the surface. 


After many summers swimming competitively as a teenager, some of it is like riding a bike. Some of it isn't. I don't do the butterfly stroke for more than half a lap these days. But, I add a few more laps each day. In the middle of my swim I add 1/4 mile of anaerobic laps to get my heart rate up. Way up. Even though my swim isn't as structured as it might be, I get the same satisfaction from the time in the pool as I did when I was much younger. And even when I'm working hard, it still feels like playing to me.

10 comments:

Missy Gink said...

Wow! What a great way to start the day. If only I could be as motivated to be up that early. Way-to-go!!!

Deb Day said...

A lovely way to start the day. Water makes everything better, in my eyes. But, oh, 5:30 in the morning! I barely function at that time....

I liked your description of the high school swimmers compared to the "recreational swimmers". Gave me a great visual.

Thanks for sharing

Blink said...

@Deb Day and @ Missy~ morning is hard. Never enough coffee to get really going. I literally take the plunge into the day! I also don't get there til 6:30. Swim teams have the 5:30 slot so we wait til they leave. Thanks for the comments!

Terje (grade4wizard) said...

Your description of your morning swimming shows how much the sport is part of you even when you call yourself recreational swimmer. Even 6:30 seems very very early for me.

Donna said...

I ALMOST felt like I should start swimming. I had friends on the swim team and it takes lots of early hours in the pool. But I think you are right, it must be like riding a bike. It does come back, along with much of the stamina as you slowly work back into it. Happy swimming!

Lori said...

I remember High School swim team. 5:30 practices, eating breakfast on the way to class. I also recall not being able to see the board in algebra class, too much chlorine. Great memories!
Thanks

Stacey from Two Writing Teachers said...

I wish I could motivate myself to get up that early to go swimming. I love to swim laps too because it doesn't feel like exercise. However, the pool I go to doesn't even open 'til 6 and on some days my baby gets up at that time. Alas, I'm glad you've found such a refreshing way to start your days.

Linda said...

I never learned to swim so I'm a little envious of those who do. I agree with Missy that it sounds like a great way to start your day!

Julie said...

What motivation. You've inspired me! Thank you!

fireflytrails said...

I am so impressed, and I think you are WAY too hard on yourself. You are getting up early and you are swimming! You are doing it!! Fabulous!! Your writing makes me want to be there, or somewhere, getting things off to a good start. I feel like a slug - but I think you have motivated me - Thanks!