Even as a child, I loved to swim. My brother and I would race to see who could be the first one in the water and of course the last one out. (We thrived on competition!) I have fond memories of visiting my grandparents in the summertime as they had a pool. I don’t think it was heated much, but I didn’t mind. While the adults conversed on the deck eating cherries, crackers and pâté, the kids would become shriveled up raisins. My siblings and I would dive to get rocks, pretend we were lifeguards, talk under water and help each other float. Remember that game Colours? We were all over it! Our imaginations would run wild as we called out shapes and foods (Such as spaghetti and meatballs) for someone to reenact as they jumped into the pool. Noodles, Floating devices and goggles were part of the drill.
Over the years my swimming has been less about games and more about fitness. I never would have realized how great it can be for your physique. Swimming firms almost every muscle in your body without straining your joints. The water neutralizes gravity making humans virtually weightless, again minimizing any potential stress on your joints.
While lifejackets and water wings aren’t part of the drill anymore, I still have my favourite gear. Goggles make it possible for me to swim in a lane without running into anyone else. My H20 Audio device is a recent purchase, but one that I truly value. It’s neat to be motivated by music while you are underwater. Not only do swimming caps keep your hair from absorbing chlorine but they also reduce resistance created when hair drags against the water. Of course you can’t swim without a bathingsuit. My favourite one that I currently own was created by Speedo. At the recreational centre that I belong to, we are allowed to bring water bottles to the edge of the pool. My Camelback allows me to stay hydrated and gives me a valuable excuse to take a break! Lastly, I use a pool buoy when I am focusing on working my arms, a flutter board when I am improving my kicks and flippers when I am trying to increase my speed. I am fortunate to be able to borrow the last three items from the centre but you can find them for reasonable prices at your average sport store.
I usually try to swim for about an hour to an hour and a half. Here is a sample of what one of my workouts might look like.
While I am no expert, I am definitely enjoying the learning process of swimming. I find that I swim alongside a lot of trained athletes and personal coaches. They are always willing to give me suggestions and feedback. I am also considering purchasing a book to spark some new training ideas. Given that I only completed swimming lessons until I was in Level 4 or 5, I think I am doing all right. Maybe one day I will learn to do the dolphin kick.
For my body, swimming is definitely a “no pain, plenty of gain” type of workout. It is a place where I can “Sweat” without actually “Sweating”. I am hoping to be swimming (and tanning with sunscreen) in my own pool soon, when the weather finally heats up. A streak with “no rain” would be nice don’t you think? That’s all for now. Happy Friday! ♥ Molly
Fun Fact: When my dad would drive me to swimming lessons, he would play “Every Breath You Take” by the Police because I got nervous about dunking my head under the water. Whenever I hear that song it reminds me of my dad and swimming lessons!