Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lap Zen

I love to swim. I bet you didn’t know that about me. It may be one of the things that I haven’t mentioned because there hasn’t been a lot of swimming going on in my life the last 10 years or so. Oh there have been times at the beach or at the cottage over those years. But the beach is one place where I do not like to swim.

I have watched Jaws. I know what can happen. There are things swimming underneath me. If I cannot see ALL the way to the bottom….I’m staying in the shallows.

But a pool is another matter.

I grew up swimming. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t know how to swim. A time when I didn’t love the feel of the water going past. And crazy as it sounds my favorite thing to do is to swim laps.

Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. Total water zen.

The year that I homeschooled Cartoon Girl we swam almost every day. That was the year that we belonged to a local swim/tennis club. Cartoon Girl needed something that would qualify as “PE” and swimming was it. I should probably clarify. I swam laps…….Cartoon Girl was in the pool but what she was doing wasn’t laps. As far as I could tell she would spend the time rising to the surface of the pool and then sinking slowly to the bottom of the deep end, there to dwell until her air ran out. Then she would rise, gulp air and go back down.

I gave her the PE credit anyways.

But there hasn’t been any swimming for me in past years because there really hasn’t been any place TO swim. My old town didn’t have a community pool, either an inside one or an outside one. There was a pool at one of the local hotels and they would allow you to swim….for the staggering price of $400/PERSON per year. Ummmmmmmmm.


So I have sighed. I have reminisced. I have yearned for swimming laps.

Until today.

Because in my NEW town there is a community center. And not just “a” community center but what I would describe and the COMMUNITY of community centers. Weight room (where I will not be caught dead), all sorts of work out equipment (which I will gladly stand and watch), a basketball court (surely you jest), a running track (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA), and……

An indoor pool that opens at 5:30a for lap swimming. Oh be still my little beating heart. The pool was closed last week for it’s annual “check up” but it is back open now. I called at 6a, as I was waiting in the cold for Max to finish his morning rendezvous with destiny, just to be sure. And today, I swam. I had been anticipating it for days. Thinking about it. Hoping for it. I was prepared. I went and bought a new swim cap because the last time I consistently swam I had very short hair. I dug out my swim suit yesterday and had it all set out along with a towel and the aforementioned cap. HHBL and I were out the door by 6:15a, he to work out and me to swim.

I looked like an idiot at first because I couldn’t find the women’s locker room but that was only momentary, until after I got out of the pool and couldn’t find the entrance from the pool to the locker room and after wandering the length of the pool and looking like Marcus Brody from Indian Jones and the Last Crusade, wandering helplessly, had to ask a life guard. Small issues. Small. I changed clothes quickly, although I need not have as there was no one else in the locker room. No little old ladies walking around buck naked, wrinkly parts all hangin’ to China. Long story. Ask Cartoon Girl, she STILL remembers. I walked out to the pool, put down my towel and just stood there for a moment, drinking in the smell of chlorine and reveling in that warm dampness that can only be found at an indoor pool. I slipped into the water and started to swim the crawl……

And that is when I realized what I had forgotten to bring.

My swim goggles.

Oh! Ow! Geez! Pain! I can’t see the bottom of the pool. My eyes are burning right out of their sockets. Did my eyes hurt this bad when I was growing up and wouldn’t be caught dead with swim goggles on? At this point it really didn’t matter because I wasn’t going to do the crawl with my eyes closed. OK, I can do the breast stroke.

Nope. I have to put my head under the water for part of that.

How about the back stroke? A bit better but still water dripping in my eyes.

Side stroke? That worked for awhile but I just kept feeling like I needed to save someone from drowning.

Back to the back stroke where I just kept blinking the water out of my eyes and hoping that I wouldn’t be so distracted that I would run into the end wall of the pool…..in front of the very bored life guard who is just hoping something would happen with the crazy side stroke woman.

Never you mind if I ran into the end of the pool at some point this morning! It isn’t germane to the story. Moving on.

But tomorrow will be a different story……..

2013-09-17 12.11.35

The zen of lap swimming, with out the chlorine blindness, here I come.


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