Monday, January 31, 2005


Today I went for a swim at the Y before work and I thought about how long I've been swimming laps for fitness. I think I began back when I was in grad school at IU. I'd go to the pool with Diane because it was hot and we did not have air conditioning. I'd swim a couple laps, then climb out and sit with Diane. She hated the water. I think I ONCE convinced her to get in.

Since then lap-swimming has been kind of a constant in my life. About twice a week, I swim laps. I swam when I was pregnant, right up to a few days before each was born. I'm sure I looked very odd--hugely pregnant in a swimsuit, swimcap and goggles. I figure people would get out of my way if the lanes were busy ("watch out! she's going to give birth right NOW!")

There are some annoying things about swimming: getting wet, especially on colds days. The smell of chlorine. Those rings around your eyes you get from goggles. Crispy hair (though I now have a good anti-chlorine shampoo). Swimsuits. If I thought about it too much, most times I wouldn't go at all.

Still, this is what I like about swimming: It doesn't involve hand-eye coordination or being on a team. You can fit it into your schedule when it works for you. It really tones the upper body (important for those of us with wimpy arms). It's way more fun than, say, running. It only takes about 15 minutes of actual exercise twice a week, and you feel fit. Or I do; maybe I'm not picky. And it feels good--to stretch, to use my muscles against the resistance of the water, to get my heart beating.

Today I saw a very overweight--obese--woman at the pool. She wasn't doing much, but there she was, in the water. I suddenly thought that I really hoped that she would keep coming. Being in the pool might make her feel lighter, as I remember from being pregnant. That cool resistance of water might be more fun and comfortable than other exercise. I hope it feels good for her to swim. I hope I will see her again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My pros and cons would be just the same.