Most Tuesday mornings I have goggle eyes. All it takes is about 35 minutes swimming 27 laps and it lasts until lunch. I can see other people in the weight room, where I go right after the pool, looking at me curiously, possibly with pity for my strange, puffy, slightly blue-ringed eyes. Not that many people swim laps. Sometimes I wear my t-shirt that says I swam 300 miles, without telling them it took me nearly 10 years.
I’m working towards getting my 700 mile t-shirt now. So much for evolution. I still can’t breathe under water. I also haven’t developed any special eyelids to help protect my eyes from the chlorine, so I wear goggles diligently. But if it’s not one thing, it’s another. In order to keep the goggles from twisting painfully with my hair, I wear a swim cap. This leaves its own wide mark on my forehead. I do appreciate being able to see the black line on the bottom of the pool, though. The cement walls can sneak up on you no matter how slowly you are swimming.
I have verified that it is counter-productive to sing or cry under water. It is necessary to blow air out the whole time one’s head is submersed, so that maximum intake is possible when getting a breath. Along the way I have increased my paltry lung capacity for things like flute playing and running, with minimal impact to my joints, not counting poor flip-turns.
Think of it like dancing. Swimming is most enjoyable and effective when done in a fluid ( ahem) rhythmic manner. Regular practice makes it more enjoyable. I have lovely suits from swimoutlet.com that I highly recommend for utility and fashion. I can’t wear make-up to my ball, but I can dress up. Who wouldn’t want to go dancing first thing in the morning?
I am picking up some speed and can now swim 8 laps without a short break. Sometimes I race the person in the lane next to me, but I never tell them. Yesterday I even tried flip turns at both ends of the lane for a lap and a half. That was challenging for me, causing leg and arms to burn. I have to limit myself to only gradually gaining strength or else my heart goes into palpitations when I’m resting. This distresses the life guards. I am very familiar with my heart and its tendency to do this for 20 years, but they are young kids wondering when they will have to use CPR. I don’t want to accidentally have them practicing on me.
The swim team coach asked me a couple of months ago if I was training for races and wanted information about certain competitions. I take this as encouragement. I have 10 months to get fully prepared for the 4 lap swim-4 mile stationary bike-1 and 1/2 mile run mini-triathlon and things are looking hopeful.