Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Swimming: A How-To Guide

Swimming starts with the time-honoured tradition of changing in a room full of other womenfolk, half of whom don't give a damn who sees them naked and half of whom have a constant look of terror in their eyes and seem to be hiding government secrets under their towels. Sprinkle in a few teenagers with perfect bodies complaining about their "chub" (deep breaths….must not comment). Having successfully navigated this stage, you jump under the shower to rinse off in order to keep the pool clean (HA) under nice warm water. Then you walk out of the change room and are treated to the blank stares of the people in the hot tub. Quick, to the water!
Slide in from the side and oh holy jebus, that's cold. You must get your head under water and start moving, or else you will bolt back out and into the hot tub. Ignoring your sense of self-preservation, dog-paddle across the length in the slow "lane", which is really two lanes filled with people floating in diagonal lines, making them impossible to pass, or water jogging. I can't even talk about water jogging.
These people kick me. A lot.
Ok, made it to the end! Duck under the torture rope lane divider and put on your goggles. To keep out water, they'll have to be tight enough to leave extremely attractive racoon eye rings. You will have to do this while old men who aren't even wearing swimsuits sit in plastic chairs at the edge of the pool. They will not move the entire time you are there.
Start swimming! If you're me, that means twisting your body completely to the side to compensate for that shoulder problem, and constantly forgetting to kick. Considering I have wee tyrannosaurus arms with bad shoulders, I have no idea how I manage to actually get anywhere. Stop every lap and half to cough out the gallon of pool water you've inhaled. Allow many people to pass you. Swear enthusiastically when you realize that almost everyone else is swimming with fins or some sort of hand paddle that makes them go really fast (and scrape your leg with the hand paddle if they are in the lane beside you). Swear even more when you realize the guy in his fifties who has passed you twice ISN'T wearing fins or hand paddles.
Weapons of severe scratching.
When you're finally done, drag yourself back to the change room. Catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror with ratty chlorine hair, red racoon-goggle eyes, and mascara smeared back to your ear because you forgot to take off your make up. Feel pretty. Frighten teenage twigs. Feel better.
Repeat weekly.

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