Posts Tagged Swimming

Bubble milestone- first 100 lengths

Twenty lengths is half of a kilometre,

just twelve lengths short of half a mile,

and then you might as well add eight to make an even kilometre,

which is not that much short of a mile,

which on a good day isn’t that far off two kilometres,

and having swum this far why not make the effort worth it and go a mile and a half,

and that of course is only four lengths short of 100 lengths,

which is such a nice round number.

So. . . a late morning nap seems like such a sensible decision.

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Two bitting along

Blowing bubbles comes first.  And learning to blow bubbles underwater opened the doors to swimming for me.

Then a trip to West Africa and Christmas took me out of the pool for two months.

Coming back in January I found myself short of breath after half a length.  Huuum.  Time for the “bit” approach.  Half a length of crawl, half a length of aquasize jogging.  Half a length of crawl, half a length of something else.  One length, more aquasize.  One length more aquasize. . . yadah yadah.  When one has attained Grandmother status no one cares if you add strange exercises to your lane swim as long as you stay in the lane designated, “recreational.”

Today was a milestone- half a mile of continuous crawl stroke.  Admittedly, I have a friend who can swim a mile in half the time it took me to do a half-mile.  One needs to keep accomplishments in perspective.

Still there is a lot to be said for working on the bits and gradually adding them together.  Many mosquitos weigh a pound and all that.

In Alberta those are the ones hardly worth swatting though. As one of my kids said,  “In Africa mosquitoes are fast and sneaky. Here they are fat and lazy.”  Either kind only swim as larvae.

A sweet young thing, recently informed me, that one of the characteristics of grandmothers is a taste for “quirky conversation.”

Guilty, I think.

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Inhabiting the Bunny Hill, with a wave to the White Rabbit

A couple of weeks ago, in the interest of taking further steps in the same direction, I invested in a pair of swim goggles so that I could open my eyes under water,   and a swimming cap to control strands of floating hair.  Then I asked the lifeguard what she taught little kiddies after they’d learned to blow bubbles.  Finally I googled YouTube for how-to videos.

Embarking on a new endeavor leads to some interesting conversations.

One day a lady in the sauna confided to me that while she’s always wanted to learn to ski she is afraid of falling. This year she intends to ski, but only on the Bunny Hill. She has told her significant “other” that she will begin and remain on the Bunny Hill. If she never skies anywhere else, it’s sufficient.  At no time is he to suggest a move to something more advanced.  I rejoiced to find a kindred spirit.

Today I shared the “slow” lane at the pool with another lady. I told her to take the lead as it was only my second week of really, truly swimming. Turns out she took her own first lessons four months ago.  She started out using flippers, then abandoned them after a few lengths.  Told me I was an inspiration to her, swimming without.  Apparently flippers assist because they keep your legs higher and allow you to concentrate on form.  I smiled and reminded her that not having taken lessons, I didn’t have to worry about such things. She laughed.  Then she asked me what my goal was and I spluttered slightly- goal?  Do I have to have a goal, other than balancing hours spent on the computer and doing just a titch more today than yesterday?

Rick Warren would undoubtedly throw up his arms in despair at my attitude.

Alice, having spent time in the Looking Glass World,  would understand.

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Blow Bubbles

I spend quite a few hours at the pool each week doing aquasize to counter-act the effects of hours at the laptop keyboard.

If you aquasize you can exercise and keep your head above water.  This is key for me because I really dislike the burning sensation of water up my nose.

But every so often I toy with the thought of real honest-to-goodness swimming.

Today on my way in I plunked down five dollars for a pair of synchro-swimming nose plugs, guaranteed to keep the water out.

Which they do, though not pleasantly.  I figured that adjusting to the pressure and forced mouth breathing would be akin to adjusting to bifocals.  If one persevered it would become second nature.

And then I said something about it to the lifeguard and she said, “Blow bubbles”

“Blow bubbles?” I repeated, slightly increduously.

“Yes, that’s the first thing we teach all the little kids.”  If air is coming out, water can’t come in.”

It works.

So I wore the noseplug on my thumb and practiced the fine art of blowing bubbles when coming up for air.

And not for the first time in my life I remembered, “Except ye become as little children.”

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