Lately, on weekends, Don and I have been swimming laps at our local pool (auf Deutsch: Schwimmbad). We (mostly me) like to get there early to beat the crowds of other lap swimmers; Don would probably be content to sleep in and deal with the crowds, but I prefer to exercise in uncongested areas where I don’t run the risk of swimming into somebody. Also, (and I know that this is probably irrational but if it is not and there are studies or tests proving me right, please don’t tell me about them), I feel like the more crowded the pool is, the dirtier the water is. Maybe it’s because I grew up swimming in a lake and therefore believe that all forms of outdoor swimming are far superior to pool swimming, but pools kind of gross me out. Probably when you think about all of the bird and turtle poop, fuel from boats, dead fish, and seaweed that is most likely in a lake, the lake water is dirtier than the pool, but I cannot reconcile my beliefs with this and I get a little panicky when some pool water (or as I think of it, Human Soup) accidentally gets in my mouth or up my nose.
This weekend, I managed to be the very first person in the water! It really set my irrational fears at ease. Don’t ask me how far I swam because I don’t bother to keep track of my laps. Instead, I just swim laps at a comfortable pace until I get tired or bored (yesterday it was about 70 minutes of swimming), and then I go sit in the hot tub and let my muscles take a break. I intentionally don’t keep track of my laps for a couple of reasons one being that I just don’t care, and the other being that I like the mental break from trying to push myself further.
Growing up on a lake, swimming was never a structured activity governed by time constraints and, after a week of trying to run just a little farther or just a little faster, or lift a little heavier, or trying to squeeze one last set of repetitions in, I enjoy not having the pressure of going a certain distance in a certain amount of time while swimming. It not only gives my body a break from normal workout wear & tear, but it also gives my mind a break from trying to make myself be ‘better’.
Starting the day with a swim yesterday (a steamy, sunny, summer day), was just the ticket. It was refreshing and I got to wear my new TYR swimsuit for its inaugural swim, and afterward, since it has been too hot lately to eat any heavy food, I whipped up a yummy Watermelon salad for lunch (you can get the Food Network recipe here) that was both healthy and hydrating with juicy watermelon, cool cucumber, fresh mint and a little feta. I’m looking forward to eating the leftovers for dinner tonight! Tomorrow morning, I begin my first day of Boot Camp. I’m still not sure what it will entail, but I hope I’m prepared.