Thursday, March 29, 2007

Swimming on my lunch break

I have a wonderful aquatic center across the street from work, and since I've been looking for another non-running activity to do, I decided to go swimming on my lunch break today.  I usually just eat lunch at my desk, which means I don't end up even having a break.  So, I figured I could have a break.  I even went a few days ago and got a new swimming suit.  I found the perfect (modest) black Speedo at Ross Dress for Less of all places - and it was only $16.  What a bargain.
So, dressed in my brand new swimming suit (which I have yet to look at myself in the mirror and see how it fits) I jumped into the pool.  I decided to have no expectations for myself.  I haven't swam in years - really since college.  So, I figured I'd just see where I was.  Growing up, I was a swimmer.  I think I've talked about how very un-athletic I was (asthma and bad knees).  But one thing I could do was swim.  I never joined the swim team or anything like that.  But I did take swim classes, even in college.  And I'd go to the pool and swim laps just for fun.  In fact, I've always thought I was one of the best swimmers that I know - maybe not speed-wise, but definitely endurance-wise.
Anyway . . . back to today.  Immediately I remembered how much I love the pool, and as I set into a rhythm, I had an epiphany of sorts:  while I'm getting to the point where I can actually run a decent distance without sucking wind, I don't enjoy running.  I've been doing it to get in shape, hoping one day I will grow to love it.  But I do enjoy swimming.  I enjoy the way it forces my breathing and body into a rhythm.  I love the calm and serenity of the water.  And I love how it makes me feel - refreshed and invigorated, without the punishment that running seems to cause.
I swam in 3 (down and back) lap intervals:  a freestyle lap, breast stroke lap, and side stroke lap (down on the left side, back on the right side).  I alternated my intervals a few times, and didn't even realize until I looked at the clock that I had gone a full 20 minutes.  My pace wasn't super speedy, although I was faster than either of the men on the lanes next to me.  It felt amazing, but I had to stop and get back to work.  And the entire rest of the day, I've felt really good.  I may not even mind having to work late tonight (we've got a killer planning commission agenda).

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