Tuesday, June 9, 2009

notice something different?

No, I didn't dye my hair. I went swimming! I've been at my gym 3 months, but I just got a bathing suit over the weekend. I also got goggles, which are key. I have had contacts for 17 or so years, and never any goggles. So my swimming always looks like this: dive underwater, 2 strokes with eyes closed, come back up and wipe the water off my eyes so my contacts don't fall out. Breathe. Repeat. I obviously haven't gotten the full experience. So I set off today with great anticipation. I could swim for laps and laps without interruption! I will unleash my true swimming potential!

Um. No. All my life I have greatly overestimated my swimming potential. First I got to the swimming pool and 2 people were in each lane. I had no idea if it was against etiquette to make it 3 in a lane. So I crouched down and waited. After a few minutes I panicked because I realized I was just sitting by the side of the pool staring at swimmers. I was an accidental creep! So I ran off to the sauna to buy some time. When I went back a class that had blocked off half the pool was over so I got in that side. This is when my dream shattered - I imagined pool water to be warm! Brrrr.... But I adjusted my goggles (see above) and proceeded to the wall. I dove in, swam underwater and I don't know what happened next but I came up flailing and gasping. I tried again and the same thing. This time I realized the problem - breathing. I wasn't doing it. I've always been able to breathe if I could see, and my brain/body was confused. So I approached it intellectually, mirroring my technique from what I saw of Michael Phelps in the Olympics. I knew to breathe on one side and keep my head down. How do people do this?! Totally counterintuitive to me, and I kept breathing in water and gasping. When I finally managed to get across the pool once without stopping I was exhausted. Wow. If anyone wants to be my personal swimming trainer please let me know. I need help.

When I came back from the gym I knew Gabe had been home. I could be a detective: here were my clues.

I forgive him his trespasses for they are the same as mine :) (I secretly loved seeing rib bones left on the table - something very primitive and manly about that. Or a primitive pride of mine that he ate all the ribs I cooked slaving over the firepit...I mean crock pot. )


  1. swimming really kicks your ass when you first start doing it. i remember vividly the first time i tried to swim the pool at CCC and barely being able to do a lap. but if you do it every day you get used to it pretty quickly!

    as far as breathing goes, you do have to work to turn your head enough, and try to synchronize it with an arm stroke -- i like to breath on my left, so on a breathing stroke, i turn my head at the same time i shoot out my right hand.

  2. Assuming your swimming 'freestyle'...it's all in timing your head to your stroke. I'm a righty so as my right arm comes out of the water I rotate my head to that side, slightly back to create a pocket, and finish my out breath to clear my mouth. I roll my head with the pace of my stroke until it naturally lands back in the water and I'm facigin down/forward again.

    It takes a bit to get the hand of. After you've done it a while you'll be able to breathe every other right/left side stroke.



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