One of my sabbatical projects for myself was that I wanted to take up swimming. I knew basically how to swim -- I would be okay if I fell out of a boat, heaven forbid -- but I didn't know enough to be able to swim for exercise, which I really wanted to do. So back in January/February, I took a swimming class for adults at the local Y, where I'm a member.
... and then I haven't been back in the pool since then.
I even bought a new bathing suit, almost accidentally, back in the spring! I was out of town and stopped into a TJ Maxx to see if they had any cheap sun hats. They did -- I got one. But on my way to the cash register, there was a cute one-piece bathing suit, just hanging there, calling out to me with its slightly retro style and its cheerful turquoise. I thought, why not? and tried it on. Perfect fit. Only $25. The whole transaction literally took 10 minutes and no stress at all, unlike any other bathing suit purchase I've ever made. It was clearly a sign that I should get back in the pool.
So tonight, three months after I bought the bathing suit, I finally cut off its tags and went swimming. I've been having serious calf aching recently and thought I should switch up my exercise and give my legs a break, which is the only way I managed to motivate myself to get in the pool.
I get very anxious going to the pool, especially at the thought of sharing a lane, since I don't want my lack of competence to interfere with another swimmer. I have a fear of running into someone, which is actually pretty likely since I don't have prescription goggles and so can't see very much. And sure enough, when I got to the pool this evening, every lane already had someone in it.
But then I realized that the smaller, shallower side pool, where they do water aerobics classes and where parents swim with their little kids, was almost empty. So I swam over there instead, which made a huge difference. Knowing that I could stand up wherever I was and that I was never very far from a pool side helped me relax, which is a big issue for me in the water. I also faced the fact this evening that I'm just scared of free-style, so I gave myself permission not to work on it and instead alternated between the breaststroke and backstroke. And occasionally I just walked laps in the water or used one of those floaty things that you hold onto and kick. And there are no lanes at all.
So that may be the answer for my swimming anxieties. I just need to check the pool schedule to see when there aren't any classes going on.
I'm still working on trying to figure out how to fit exercise into my life on a regular, frequent basis. I have this idea that swimming could be very meditative while also being good exercise. That didn't exactly happen this evening, but I do have that lovely all-over-tired feeling in my body, which I'm hoping means that my calf muscles are relaxing and that I'll sleep well tonight.