I swim at our local pool when I have a chance. It is beautiful and not all that crowded and swimming, not requiring much coordination, is something I can do.
A lot of people around here, on the ocean, aren't very enthusiastic swimmers. The ocean is not the best place to actually swim. The ocean interferes.
However I grew up in Manitoba, the province of 10,000 lakes, many of them about 2 1/2 feet deep and muddy which is perfect for learning to swim. Most of the time a person can just put her foot down and touch bottom and probably a few leeches, but apart from that lake swimming is a reassuring way to learn how to do it.
At the local pool there aren't any leeches.
In the morning it is often ladies vigorously doing water aerobics and retired men standing in the middle of the lanes talking but not swimming. There were two characters at the end of my lane today discussing cauliflower recipes, I can't make this stuff up, and how they felt better since their heart attacks now they are "in the water" most days. In the water just about described it - if these guys could have smoked cigars in the pool they would have.
Eventually they climbed up the ladder and were off to the sauna, to discuss broccoli I suppose, but no longer au gratin, and I kept swimming.
OK this is the thing.
I used to count my laps.
Then I would go home and google a converter to see how many miles I had swum. However it mostly turns out that after a hard, non recipe talking, aquatic workout I more or less put in about the same distance I would if I went over and visited Mrs. Smith across the way - and I can see her reading her paper in the living room window from my own living room window.
No one is going to be recruiting me for the master's team any time soon.
So I have stopped counting laps.
It seems to me this is pretty smart and a parable for birthdays.
Since I just had one, a birthday, I am aware that as you go on you start to count the birthdays like laps and that can kind of take the fun out of the swim. Better just to feel how it feels.
Starting next birthday I think I am just going to celebrate being born and leave it at that. After all I really think getting in the water is what matters.
Maybe my two cooks know that.