I don’t really like swimming very much though I’ve done a lot of it. I find it difficult to enjoy myself in the water because there’s always this sense that I should be doing something.
When I was in Swim Team we’d do 3 to 5 miles a day and it is the most boring, grinding, isolated kind of exercise you can imagine. No view except the feet of the person in front of you. Nothing to hear except an occasional whistle when you breathe. Endless circles of aching effort regulated by 15 or 30 second breaks before it is time to push off again. I’d sing symphonies in my head (I was into long haired music- Mozart, Bach, and Brahms) to alleviate the endless counting. Stroke, stroke, stoke, stroke, stroke, stoke… 25. Stroke, stroke, stoke, stroke, stroke, stoke… 50.
Everything about me stank of chlorine all the time. My hair turned green. I’d tell you my fingers and toes turned permanently pruney but that’s not quite true, they usually recover after a couple of hours.
Monday through Friday 6 to 8 and if you were on the elite squad there were the mandatory practices from 6 to 7 in the morning. In the winter your hair would freeze and in the summer?
Ah… nothing like an outdoor pool in the early morning after it’s had all night to cool off.
I’ve had my head burnt to near Emergency Room levels when someone flushed the toilet while I was in the shower (actually I should probably have gone, it was that bad). I’ve swum in pools so green you couldn’t see the bottom and had to feel for the wall (no flip turns, Team safety orders).
You get to a point where you can tell by feel fast water where you’ll get good times and personal bests from slow water. But it’s slow for everybody as coach would say.
Anyway, now that I’m no longer a professional Life Guard and have to do my 400 yards every day, I rarely swim except to get somewhere and it should be somewhere fun. A rock you can jump off. A boat you can sail. I will take a dip to cool off, but I hardly call it swimming, in and out. I watch kids play in pools and I think- how are they having fun?