october 28/SWIM!

1+ mile
ywca pool

The first swim back at the y pool in 4 years. I’m so happy to be swimming again this winter. I really wanted to make it happen, and I did. Hooray! It’s a very different experience swimming in the pool versus the lake. I still like the lake better, but it’s wonderful to be able to get back in the water. At the start of my swim, I was worried about my kneecap — would it slip out of the groove? It was fine. The rest of the time I counted strokes and noticed the people swimming in other lanes. On one side, an older woman with a strong stroke, alternating between breaststroke and freestyle. On the other side, a younger guy swimming backstroke, freestyle, and breaststroke. A few times he started just as I pushed off the wall and we might have raced. Not sure; I stayed my steady pace, but I was happy to be faster than him. In lanes 5 and 6 — I was in 3 — 2 guys were hanging out in the deep end, one at the surface, the other bobbing up from the bottom.

I swam a 200 yard warm-up, then 1600 yards without stopping, then a 50 yard warm down. 8 sets of continuous 200s, breathing every 3 strokes for 50 yards, 4 strokes for 50, 5 strokes, and 6 strokes (3/4/5/6 x 8). Breaking up 50s with different breathing helps the time to pass more quickly, and also helps me to keep track of my laps. If I breathed every 5 strokes the entire time, I would quickly forget how many 200s I had already done. I’m terrible at keeping track of them. Why is it so hard? Not sure.

I thought about how the kids used to swim here for swim lessons, then on the Otters swim team. I counted how many blue tiles were on the bottom: 6, I think. And I did my start of the swim ritual: pushing off the wall and staying underwater until I reached the end of the blue tiles, which is about 2/3 of the way across.

Scott and I soaked in the hot tub after I was done. Excellent! I’m looking forward to working out here this winter, for the exercise and all the rituals on the track, in the pool, in the locker room.

Found this poem — I think on twitter? — and it made me think of many things, including my question up above about why I always have trouble keeping track of what lap I am on while swimming in a pool — I have this problem with loops in the lake too:

Lost in Plain Sight/ Peter Schneider

Somewhere recently
I lost my short-term memory.
It was there and then it moved
like the flash of a red fox
along a line fence.

My short-term memory
has no address but here
no time but now.
It is a straight-man, waiting to speak
to fill in empty space
with name, date, trivia, punch line.
And then it fails to show.

It is lost, hiding somewhere out back
a dried ragweed stalk on the Kansas Prairie
holding the shadow of its life
against a January wind.

How am I to go on?
I wake up a hundred times a day.
Who am I waiting for
what am I looking for
why do I have this empty cup
on the porch or in the yard?
I greet my neighbor, who smiles.
I turn a slow, lazy Susan
in my mind, looking for
some clue, anything to break the spell
of being lost in plain sight.