Went for a swim the other night, for the first time in years.
A proper swim, too. Most of the time in recent years, the word ‘swim’ has meant ‘posing-around-some-fancy-resort-pool-with-full-make-up on and holding a cocktail’.
I’d actually planned to go for yoga but as fate would have it, the class I usually go for was full.
Then I toyed with the idea of going for pole instead, but thought it would be wiser to give my achey pole muscles a break and do something different. My husband was meeting a friend of his who swims at the nearby public pool to join him there for the first time, so I decided to tag along.
Queenstown Swimming Complex has a super old skool 1980’s vibe to it and looks pretty much exactly like how I remember public pools to be. And the last time I swam in a public pool was about 17 years ago!
Almost every woman on the premises was wearing some variation of a conservative black one-piece, except for a few who were wearing their version of a ‘two-piece’: A separate pair of bicycle shorts over their one-piece!
I’d just grabbed a spare set of pole gear from the lot I keep stashed at the office since they’re mostly bikini tops and swim shorts anyway. But I had to wonder if I was flouting any public pool dress codes in my pink checkered halter bandeau and navy swim shorts *thank god they were shorts!* but no one seemed to mind.
And no, I wasn’t breaking any dress code.. eventually another girl turned up in a string bikini. Phew!
After so many years of not putting my head under water though, I initially experienced a bit of water-anxiety, getting slightly panicky every time I dipped my head under.
I managed to complete a very breathless lap by unwisely straining to keep my head above water, followed by an even more breathless lap of forcing myself to swim with my eyes open underwater, before my husband’s friend kindly lent me his goggles and my anxiety disappeared once I could see where I was going.
Once I got back into the swing of swimming without anxiety, I started to really enjoy myself. I used to go swimming every weekend as a kid and even used to take those ‘water survival 101’ lessons where you jump into the pool in pajamas, then take them off underwater and make floats with them.
In the end I managed a total of 11 laps without too much trouble. And I could have gone for more, except that we started to get hungry.
That’s a far cry from my 20’s when I used to live in a condominium that had a pool, and 6 laps was all I could muster before getting totally winded.
When we left though, I did feel fatigue kick in along with a delicious drowsiness. Maybe it’s from doing an unfamiliar activity?
Funnily enough also, was that the next day my husband felt his arms and chest aching while I felt perfectly fine and well-rested. We figured it’s because he runs and skate boards, which are activities which don’t require him to use his arms. Whereas with pole, I use mine all the time and 11 laps at the pool is nothing compared to doing a few pull-up-V’s!
Hell yeah, pole dancing for the win!
So I might just buy my own goggles and start a new swim routine, but we’ll see.. the leftover smell of chlorine in my hair does kinda bug me. Any regular swimmers here have hair-care tips to beat chlorine damage?