Posts Tagged ‘front crawl’

My bucket list

Due another work emergency, I am writing in a rush again. So I thought I’d share something that’s been on my mind for a while. Since I finished my law degree actually. It’s stuff I’d like to do in the near future. I figure if I write it down, then I’ve said it out loud so there’s some obligation to at least try and do it. Ok, here goes….

1. Join a book club.
2. Master front crawl.
3. Go back to Namibia (or at least make solid plans about it).
4. Go on (or plan) an epic walking adventure.
5. Try running (haha!)
6. Go to Secret Cinema at least once.
7. Sign up for a college course (not sure what in, I just think would be fun. Maybe food).
8. Go to that restaurant in London where everything’s completely in the dark.

So there it is. Realistically, 2 and 5 are the most achievable as they just require me making the effort to do it. Let’s see how the rest go.

I’ve said them now. There’s no backing out…..

I dare you to make your own and put it in the comments section. There’ll be no backing out then. Go on! Do it.

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A revolution in my swimming world

Now this may seem quite silly to most. It’s a tiny thing that does not deserve its own post. The majority will wonder why I have not been doing it all along. But I haven’t. And now I am. And it’s a revolution of epic proportions.

I swam with my face UNDER the water yesterday!

Usually I don’t need to, if I’m doing back stroke for example. But when I do breast stroke, I just stay above water. The whole water-rushing-up-nose thing didn’t really appeal. This is also the sole reason I do not do front crawl.

I was quite happy in my little back stroke and breast stroke world. I knew I still had four years to train for the next Olympics so there was no real rush.

Then yesterday, someone told me to just go under and stop being a baby. Just breathe out through your nose and mouth and no water can get in, they told me. I was sceptical. I dipped under a few times, panicked, and breathed water hard into my throat. A ha! It was proved! My fear of water-up-nose was justified as I had water up my nose.

Breathe out, not in, silly.

So I tried again breathing out and it was fine. I did it a few more times. Then I did breast stroke with my head under. Amazing! You can see everything under the pool through your goggles and it’s really wierd. Cool. But wierd. The noise of splashing and voices cuts off and suddenly you’re in a silent world of legs and blue.

Then I approached a stroke I never do. Never ever. Because I see so many other people doing it extremely inelegantly and wish they’d stop. And I also see so many people doing it brilliantly and know I’ll never look like them.

It was time…. For front crawl….

My front crawl currently looks a little like a drowning cat so I only do it for short bursts, until I can no longer stand doing something so unOlympicy and then I stop. But it’s a revolution! I’m breaking new ground here. It’s very exciting.

P.S. I fully understand if some of you leave this post in disgust. What kind of swimmer goes swimming almost every day for over two months before putting their face under? In my defence, I will say that I was just taking it slowly, ok?

An admission

Ok. I’ve got something to admit. I was unfriendly yesterday. I didn’t mean to be, because I’m attempting be more friendly recently.

I was swimming and there was a woman in the same lane as me going a similar speed. So I started having a little Olympic race of my own against her. While breast stroke and back stroke were in play, we were almost the same speed. Then she started doing front crawl. Therein lay her mistake.

She did that kind of laboured don’t-want-to-put-my-face-in-the-water front crawl. Every stroke required her to throw her body in the opposite direction in order to get her arm forward. She was a gonner. I sped ahead. ‘Eat my splashes, swimming lady!’

As we neared the edge of the pool, I snuck in first for the gold, and my competitor came in a second later for silver.

She had been looking at me over her shoulder like she wanted to say something and now that I was alongside her, she went for it.

She said something about it being a lap lane and that I was supposed to be behind her, not next to her. I thought about saying, ‘yes, I know it’s a lap lane, but I can’t swim behind you if you’re swimming slower than me because you’ll slow me down.’ I didn’t say it. But I wanted to.

What I did instead was reached the side of the pool and threw myself into a length of backstroke without even the slightest pause. Just as though I hadn’t heard her say anything. Totally ignored her. That was unfriendly. But she was being nonsensical. When the front person is going slowly, at some point, someone will overtake, so for a brief time, there will be two people next to each other instead of behind each other. Don’t go slow then get grumpy when someone overtakes you.

So I was unfriendly and I’m sorry for deviating from the mission. I shall try harder.

On the other hand, I was walking behind a lady the other day who had her hands full pushing a bike and she dropped a red pepper. As she tried to juggle holding up the bike with bending down to get the pepper, I pottered over, friendly mission face on, and picked up the pepper for her.

So maybe my pepper picking friendliness cancels out my swimming unfriendliness….?

Considering anger management

I went swimming again this morning. I just got back and am feeling relatively calm again. Today’s swimming session wasn’t calm. It made me irate. It shouldn’t have. But it did.

As I approached the pool I saw that it was mostly empty, just the lap lane was full. The front crawl lane and nice and easy lanes were both empty. Also, the massive end lane which can take about four people only had one person in it. So I got in the nice and easy lane and thought I’d just have a relaxing swim today because my shoulder was aching a bit. I was about ten lengths in when it started. It all fell apart.

A lady approached the nice and easy lane so I moved from the middle of the lane to the side of it, to make space for her. She also moved to the side, the side I was on! She stood there fixing her goggles then just started swimming!

This picture shows the situation. I’m in the end lane (the top one). The next lane, for front crawl, is empty. The next lane is full and the end one is almost empty. The lady has approached the nice and easy lane, lined herself up with me exactly, leaving the other half of the lane empty and set off swimming straight at me! Doing front crawl!

DOING FRONT CRAWL! She’s come to share the nice and easy lane and is doing front crawl, when the front crawl lane is free! I quite literally went in to shock. I know it’s irrational but I was livid.

I just kept swimming straight, even though I know she must’ve expected me to move. Don’t people get it? When you’re new to the lane, you fit in with the people there, you don’t come in and shove people out of their space when they were there before you! Is it me? I’m worried about my anger, maybe I’m making up rules that are silly?

Anyway, I kept going, thinking she’d surely move. Surely. But she kept coming, doing a really clumsy version of front crawl, her hands kept splatting on the water like the noise you make when you belly flop. We eventually got so close that I had to stop and just tread water until she saw me. She did, obviously. She must’ve known I was there the whole time. She just looked at me like there was no problem.

“I guess¬†I’ll¬†move then,” I said, when it became clear that she hadn’t noticed anything wrong. I waited for the penny to drop and for her to go ‘O, it’s ok, I’ll move over here.’ But no. It was unbelievable. We were near the stairs so I just got out and moved to the large end section and started swimming but I was all out of sync and couldn’t concentrate.

I noticed the indoor pool was emptier so I went inside and started swimming. After about two lengths, four people came in together and squashed themselves into the lane I was in. One man was just standing at the end, holding on to the side, not moving. He was at the end of my section and didn’t move away when I approached. So I had to swim around him to get to the end then swim back around him to start my next length. He just stood there.

By this point, it was getting silly, I hated everyone in that pool and wished they’d all just bugger off and leave me to swim. It was time to take myself out of the situation…

After I got out, I tried to work out what was wrong with me. I’ve had a bit of a toothache and have a dentist appointment fast approaching. Has that made me angry? When it was quite hot yesterday, I struggled to not get grumpy with everyone, so maybe it’s the leftovers from that? I can’t work it out. People do silly things at the swimming pool all the time and are constantly stealing your space, so why was I so angry today? Maybe the Swim Gods are punishing me for missing Wednesday by stealing the Fun Factor from today’s swim? Or maybe I just shouldn’t be around people…?

I’m going to drink some herbal tea and do some yoga, I think.

The problem with swimming

I am on Day 2 of Being Active week and, since there’s an outdoor swimming pool near my house, I thought I’d try to swim every day this week. Yesterday went well. The pool opens at 6.30am so I woke up at 6am and was in the pool by 6.40am. I thought it’d be good because I might miss the rush. I’ve been a few different times in the morning and it’s always pretty full. I was trying to find a time when it was a bit emptier so I could swim without crashing into people.

Of course my plan did not work. It was still quite full ten minutes after opening. ‘O well,’ I thought. ‘I’ll just swim in that one empty lane over there that no-one else is in. I wonder why no-one else is in it.’

Off I go, to the empty lane. All to myself. Ahhh, loads of space. Very exciting. I get in and I think maybe I’ll be a bit adventurous today, I’ll do back stroke. Seeing as there’s no-one else in the lane, I can swim without worrying that I’ll hit anyone. So I do one length, it’s quite tiring for someone who’s into the whole gentle-stroll scene.

And that’s when I see it, the sign at the top of the lane, in massive letters. ‘FAST LANE. FRONT CRAWL ONLY.’

O no! I’d just committed a swimming faux-pas. I’d done back stroke in the front crawl lane! I suddenly felt very self-conscious and looked around for another space in one of the slower lanes but there weren’t any. Disaster! I checked the indoor pool but that was even busier. I looked at the lifeguard, ready to be told off, but she hadn’t noticed. There was nothing for it but to keep going. Worse still, I had decided to do back stroke on my way up and breast stroke on my way back. So there I was, plodding along like a grandma, doing breast stroke in the FAST FRONT CRAWL ONLY lane. Boy, was I nervous! I tried doing front crawl for a length but it wasn’t great. I know my limitations. At the moment, back stroke and breast stroke are my comfort zone.

Inevitably, someone wanting to use the FAST FRONT CRAWL ONLY lane to do front crawl came into the lane so I went into the one next to me as a space had freed up there and immediately I was exposed to all the minor annoyances of swimming around other people.

Why is that person swimming in a diagonal line? They’ve cut across my bit and now I’ve got to move to get around them. And now I’ve lost my space.

I’m swimming in this bit! Why are you getting in the pool and swimming in a straight line toward me? I guess I’ll move out of the way although I was here first. And again, lost my space.

If you’re going to swim in the lap lane, don’t be the slowest swimmer ever, please. People are behind you, trying to get some exercise.

If you’re going to come here and swim in public, make sure you can do it first. The big splashing nonsense that appears to be your version of ‘swimming’ is making me fear for my life. You also just kicked me on your way past.

So you see the problems of swimming in a public pool!? It’s not as straight forward as you would think. You spend a long time, carving out a little space for yourself and then people come and invade it. Or you accidentally ignore the swimming social etiquette by swimming in the wrong lane. Or you get stuck next to someone who’s all arms and legs and you have to flatten yourself against the side when they pass. There’s lots to think about. I bet you thought swimming was a fairly simple activity? Well, I must warn you, don’t bring your brain with you if you want a simple swimming session. There’s too much to think about.

Today, I’m working early so will swim after work. Fingers crossed I won’t talk myself out of it (I’m very good at talking myself out of things).