yay water!

Yesterday I went swimming for the first time this summer. I was in London when the pool here at my complex opened, and then I was busy, and then it was closed, and then I was busy, and then it was closed . . . but we went and swam for about half an hour or so last night, and it was glorious.

A few observations, in no particular order:

1) If you need goggles, get thee to a specialty store or look online and get yourself some Barracudas. To quote the jargon from the website I turned up, they’re a positive-pressure seal instead of a negative-pressure one, i.e. they don’t operate by glomming onto your face with suction, which makes them much more comfortable than Speedo’s product. The frame is molded to fit the eye orbit more closely, and the foam on mine has held up for over a decade; only now are they starting to leak a bit, leading me to decide that it’s time to get some new ones.

2) My form on various strokes has undoubtedly degenerated, but a lot of it came back very quickly. (Though it did take me most of that half-hour to remember I was doing the wrong breast-stroke kick. Oh well; now that I’m not competing, I’ll go back to the one that doesn’t make my hips and knees hurt.) I think I can still justifiably call myself a strong swimmer.

3) I can still do fly!!! In fact, despite the loss of form, I probably swim butterfly better now than I did when I was fourteen, on account of having some actual upper body muscle. I may consider adding a once-weekly swim session to my exercise routine, because if you want gorgeous shoulders and back, ain’t nothin’ like swimming fly to give it to you. And I like swimming a lot better than running, even on an elliptical.

4) Did I mention I love the water?

5) I think I made almost this exact post (minus the commentary on Barracudas) a couple of years ago, after another long hiatus of not swimming. But most of you weren’t reading this journal then, so I can pretend it counts as new content, right?

Swimming good. I just wish I didn’t have to go to so much work to keep my hair from becoming chlorine-damaged. Otherwise I’d be in the water every day, like I was when I was nine.

0 Responses to “yay water!”

  1. diatryma

    What *do* you do to your hair to keep it from getting swum out? I’ve pretty much stopped swimming because I can’t do anything with mine– it’s ocean or nothing because of the chlorine. Some of it’s the usual not-being-able-to-put-it-up, but there’s not a lot I can do for it chemically. Most of the swimming things through school are midday, too, which makes sense schedulewise but is too many showers for my poor self.
    I wanna go swimmin’ now….

    • Marie Brennan

      If you want to really protect it, buy cheap conditioner, water it down, and soak your hair with that before you go swimming; then it won’t absorb the chlorine in the first place. That’s what I did when I was still on a swim team, but it was a lot of work. The quick-and-dirty version of this (which I did last night) is just to soak it with clean water first. The other major point is to shower immediately upon getting out of the pool.

      For protection against physical damage, get a lycra swim cap; you should be able to stuff your hair inside that so the strap on your goggles (if you wear any) doesn’t cause massive tangles.

  2. kurayami_hime

    I am so jealous. I may even see if the bus that picks up near me goes to the branch of my gym with a pool (the neighborhood’s not quite good enough for me to take BART and then walk…). Of course, the other pool I tried at another branch was so, so very sad that I hold little hope. Granted, my standards are ridiculously high (thank you, UT), but three lanes and maybe 15 feet =/= pool. And I could do without the middle-age men leering at me. o_O;

    • Marie Brennan

      What we have =/= pool in the hardcore sense, but it’s straight and long enough that I can do quasi-laps if I come up straight after pushing off the wall, instead of doing a proper pullout. Of course, this only really works if there aren’t crowds of people already in the pool.

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