Travelling the black line
Bubble bubble breathe.
Kick kick kick.
Did you guess? Swimming. I’ve been doing a bit of it lately.
Up and down the pool. Black line fever.
Our local pool is of the old fashioned variety and surrounded by concrete.
33 metres long (I know – makes for interesting distance calculations).
Open for a short summer season – end of November until early March. Short and sweet.
Every year our family is one of the first to line up to buy the family season’s pass – just over $100 for entry all summer long. I’m sure that we have swum on opening day every year since we moved here.
Normally I am an “on the side mum”. I will hop in for a quick dip on those baking hot days, but I am content to sit on the side and chat. The town pool is a social place and acts as a meeting point for the mums whilst the kids splash and swim.
This year was different. This year was the year that I was going to get fit. Swim laps – and more than just one or two.
I’m a swimmer from way back. I joined my local swimming club when I was about 12 and trained a couple of times a week. Competed at pennant events. Had a great time with a bunch of kids who were all into the same thing that I was.
I was never going to be anything special in the pool but it was a lot of fun and kept me fit. I can remember quite fondly Sunday afternoon swimming competitions followed by a visit to the local pizza parlour. Lots of laughter and good times.
Fast forward a few years and I started playing water polo for my school team. Never heard of the sport before but I enjoyed swimming and thought that this would be a great add on.
Little did I know that I would end up doing WAY more swimming training for my water polo team then I ever did for my swim team! I moved up the ranks and played for my school, junior state development teams, club teams and even dabbled in national level squads.
Lots of swimming laps.
Lots of looking at black lines and permanently smelling of chlorine.
As with all good things, that time of my life came to an end. I moved on from playing polo and with that came an unconscious avoidance of the swimming pool. One would have thought that having spent so much time in the water as a teenager that I would be keen to keep up my swimming – unfortunately the opposite was true. I shuddered at the thought of pulling on a swimming cossie and to even consider dipping a toe in the pool was just not an option.
So what changed? Perhaps it was a timing thing. Perhaps I had allowed myself enough time to sit back and watch.
This year I set myself up to achieve. To be a “yes” person when the question came from my kids – “mum, are you getting in today?”
I armed myself with new goggles – good ones that fit properly and stayed on, grabbed myself a swim cap (a hangover from past experiences – can’t swim with hair in my face) and bought a new streamlined swimming cossie. I was ready.
The first few laps felt good. I glided through the water. Techniques that had drifted away came back to me. My hand slid through the water and pulled through. I was rocking this swimming thing.
Of course, that feeling didn’t last for long! After a few laps the water felt as though it was thick and heavy. My arms ached. It was harder to breathe. I managed about 9 laps (remember I was used to swimming 3 – 5km a session) before I called it quits. Enough. Dragged myself out of the pool. Over to my towel and reflected on how I felt.
Surprisingly I actually felt really good. Granted a bit disappointed that I hadn’t jumped back in at my former fit level (as if!). But the swimming adrenalin had kicked back in.
Since that first attempt I have been swimming laps on a regular basis. Anything from twice a week to my “best effort” of six times. My lap count has increased from a measly 9 laps (just under 300 metres) to a regular 32 laps (just over 1000 metres).
Not only has my “distance covered” increased but the laps are faster and stronger and I even throw a few laps of butterfly in there as well. Chlorine must have leaked into my brain!
And out of the pool? I feel good. Really good. When I manage to fit in the laps first thing in the morning I am left with an “all day” feel good rush. I stand taller. I feel stronger. I’m sure I must look different too.
Now that the kids are back at school, the morning sessions are a little harder to manage but I have “booked myself” a time in the last hour before school pick up.
All of my work and house hold duties are done during the morning and early afternoon and then I head to the pool for my swim time pre grabbing the kids.
And? I’m actually enjoying it.
Today I am linking up with Jess