Friday, November 2, 2012

Life in the sort of medium lane

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.

5 comments:

Karin said...

I count my laps. Sometimes I think I need some sort of stitch counter, like for knitting, so I don't lose track.
Last Friday I was in the fast lane (not that I really need to be, but some one has to be brave enough for us to all spread out a bit) and there was a fight! Yes! A big shouting match with everyone in the pool taking sides etc. An old man bumped into a young woman who was swimming very quickly. I think he was mean and cranky and engineered it on purpose to make a point. She apologised, but he wouldn't let it go. Anyway the young woman was in tears when she picked her young sons up from the creche, so I am told.
Meanwhile, as soon as she and the guy left for the changing rooms the whole pool got out! Presumably to run and chat to them and get all the gossip. I had the whole pool to myself! I was able to swim the backstroke without fear of whacking anyone. It was great.
I did leave my opinions with the manager at the end.
I imagine the grumpy guy was there on doctor's orders for the sake of his heart or something.
Generally, I find swimming relaxing.

Jane M said...

I'm there with the water aerobics group now that I've found a instructor who really makes us get aerobic, not just wet. I'm with you on the not counting....just keep moving. Sort of how I feel about my weight, my measurements, my blog statistics and so many other numbers.... useful to get the trends and make corrections when necessary but not the whole picture of a person.

Martha said...

Totally impressed that you swim. Way to go.

angie.a said...

Very smart of you. :) Happy birthday, late! I don't count miles I hike either. I think I'd be too consumed with trying to one-up myself if i did! I'm competitive.

KathyS said...

We have our own swimming pool, only 7 metres in length. I stopped counting laps when 12 dwindled to 10 which fizzled to 8. Now I just keep going until I feel I've had enough.

I was 72 last month and don't really like swimming anyway. Just getting in the water is an achievement for me. Never mind the number of laps.