Since I'm kind of unconventional when it comes to swimming laps (i.e. I don't do strokes where I have to come out of the water to breathe because I lack the coordination to move my arms, legs, stay afloat AND breathe without sucking in water), I've added gear to pump up the workout. I still love my Zoomer swim fins and feel that they've made my legs stronger while letting me swim a little faster - I'm able to get more laps in using them. A couple of months ago, I realized that I wasn't really worn out after my regular workouts, so I decided that I was ready for hand paddles. These were a little tricky to find, as many of them have a strap that goes over the index finger, which is where my lap-counter goes. After some trial and error, I hit on these Finis Fulcrum paddles:
You would think that for someone who has worn glasses for decades, and who takes very good care of said glasses, swim goggles would be a piece of cake for me. You would be wrong. I've ruined two pairs of goggles - the first, because I didn't know that you weren't supposed to wipe the insides out (removes the anti-fog coating). My second pair? I was so good with them! Except that one day I used some anti-fog drops and then wiped them out with a paper towel. Hello scratches. I don't know what I was thinking. Dumb move. Onto pair number three - good thing the first pair was only around $12 and the second pair was free with a big order from Swim Outlet a while back. But still! Of course by the time I needed to get another pair, our one store in town did not have any left. (side rant: locals complain about internet shopping not contributing to the tax base, but how can I shop locally if no one carries what I need?) Anyway, I ended up with a pair of Barracudas, mainly because my pool buddy Nancy has had some for years and loved them. They were only $15, which I thought was pretty reasonable. And I swear, I'm treating them like a baby!
Also pictured with the goggles are my ear plugs, which are wonderful. Once Nancy and I are done with our kickboard gab session, I get down to business with my back stroke. I do not like water in my ears, and while my swim cap helps keep some out, adding the ear plugs means that no water gets in...and I have the added bonus of losing myself to my thoughts completely, since I can't hear the swim team or other distractions.
My last new item is a towel. I'm sure you're all thinking, big whoop, a towel, but hear me out...the towel I was using, while pretty and absorbent and perfectly fine, was huge. Perfect for a day at the beach, but more than I needed for the pool, and it was heavy and took up a ton of space in my pool bag that I lug in every day. I was lamenting this to my mom one day, and the next thing I knew, she'd found a thin, quick-drying towel on the internet! That internet is a magical place. I ordered one, and was amazed at how much less space it took up compared to my old towel:
New towel on the left, old towel on the right
It works great and is still really big - I can wrap it around myself and be covered from chest to knees, which is important since I have to walk up the stairs and part-way through the gym to the women's locker room. And it really IS quick drying - another plus since I need to dry it every day. Well, that is, when I swim. Which will be next week. Woohoo!