Thursday, September 13, 2012

If it Were Up to Me

Now I've done it. I've joined a Masters swim that practices at 5:45 in the morning. The women I'm staying with is now out of town for two weeks, and her husband is big on Masters swimming. It sounded like a good kickstart to a healthy routine.

We arrived at the pool today and I was able to purchase a suit, goggles, and two caps at the pool store. Talk about swank. I tried to imagine the Northshore pool in Bothell with a store...come to think of it, the last time I drove past it the doors were all boarded up. Awww man!

I bought a size 34 suit, and stood in front of the mirror for a while. It was tight. I moved my arms up and down, and remembered that suits stretch, and ripped the tag off. Here goes...

Professionals of all ages come to these morning classes, and many of them, like Phil, compete in local, regional and national meets. Our coach was a svelt blonde lady with a Czech accent. She asked me if I had any experience, I said a little in college, but it had been a while. She put me in a middle lane with four people, easy enough. They were doing sculling drills with breast stroke and freestyle. Phil had told me that was on the agenda for today, much to his chagrin, and I was like, yessss.

The set was a perfect re-introduction. Not much distance, not much fly. It was a bromine pool, which must be a California thing because the only other one I swam in was at Claremont McKenna. It tastes saltier than chlorine, and sticks on you a little stronger. I wondered who these people were that I was sharing a lane with. Where did they live? What did they do? What a strange way to meet people, bobbing in the water with rubber heads...the girl in front of me seemed my age. I wondered if she swam in college. Judging by the ankle-length fleece-lined jackets people were busting out of their cars, it seemed like a lot of people had.

I didn't have a song in my head during practice. I was mostly thinking about how awesome and terrible swimming is. The full body work-out....great. The oxygen deprivation...not so much. I got really indignant about that toward the end of my swimming days. Runners get to breathe all the damn time, but swimmers have to train themselves to breathe as little as possible, while pushing their bodies to the max, it's downright masochistic! I think competitive instincts will keep your head under long enough during a race, I just don't want to practice it, ugh! I did have a song in my head as I woke up at 5:20, and it was so perky and overplayed that I shut it out. It was a song I wrote, and maybe I'll be able to post a music video to someday. I'll leave this post music-less in hopes of that.

This healthy routine was supposed to involve me going to bed at 10 every night. oops.