Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday Workout Update - the "S" Word Edition

If it hasn't become apparent to you by now, I do things in my own little unorthodox way.  Take the concept of diet AND exercise.  Did I do both at the beginning?  Oh no.  One thing at a time...I have to ease into stuff, and yes, most of the easing is mental.  High hurdles in my mind, I have them.  And all along my journey (to fit!) it's been suggested that I try swimming for exercise.  While out loud I politely demurred, in my mind I was all "hell to the NO" - swimming is so far out of my comfort zone that it has a different zip code.  No how, no way...oh hell no.

And why would I need to swim, anyway?  I had my group workouts.  Then I had running.  Then I did not have running.  But I could still walk!  Except that then I was advised against that.  And I paid good money for that advice, so I probably should heed it.  Plus, I'd kinda like to get my stupid ankle healed and get back to running.  My doctor suggested swimming as an alternative.  Of course I instantly dismissed that suggestion.

Cut to my running club's new cross-training schedule - since we (they) are training for a shorter distance race, cross-training has been added - core and strength, biking, etc...and swimming - just a few times, but Coach Joni wanted to get those who were interested exposed to the benefits of swimming.  I was not interested.  Until pretty much every workout option was taken away from me.  Then I grudgingly bought a pair of goggles and joined the few brave souls who showed up for the first swim session last week.  And, as I wrote in Friday's Mishmash, I survived.  Yay.

So here's where it gets interesting.  Last week we swam at a public pool - paid our $3 each and went in.  Since I didn't drown it went so well, I considered trying this "swimming" thing out, only I don't belong to a gym that has a pool. gym was just bought out by another gym here in town, and for the next two months, I have privileges at all four locations - including the one that has an indoor pool!  It's like the universe is trying to tell me something.  I asked Coach Joni, who willingly swims a couple times a week, to meet me at the pool gym and show me the ropes because I am a huge chicken I was not familiar with the pool gym.  Monday morning, she met me there, showed me around, and then we swam!  She did her thing while I did what passed for swimming in my world, and then we ended the morning chatting while kick boarding up and down the lanes for a while.  All told, I spent an hour in the water, and I was beat.  Who knew that swimming - heck, even just kicking - the length of the pool was such a cardio workout?!?

Anyway, I went back again on Tuesday morning.  By myself.  I KNOW!!!  Who am I?!?  And I'll be back there again this morning.  Then I'll take two weeks off while I am out gallivanting around in California - but once I return home, if I regularly swim for the rest of May, then I'll *gulp* pay the extra money and up my gym membership so I can keep swimming.  Please pick yourselves off of the floor now.  I can't believe I wrote that sentence either.

Also?  My shins are a little scraped up from climbing out of the pool when I'm done.  Which is pathetic, because I can't do the "place palms on edge/lift and twist body/end up sitting on edge of pool with legs in water like normal people" deal - I tried it on go.  While I was doing my thang in the pool on Tuesday I saw an older woman do it, so I told myself "if that old lady can do it, you can too."  Guess what?  That old lady could probably kick my a$$ in a lot of things, apparently.  So I do the awkward helf/scrabble/flop exit.  Why, you must be wondering, why don't I just go over to the ladder and climb out that way?  Because by the time I'm done, the Gray Panthers are doing water aerobics in the two lanes where the ladder is.  And they do this funny walking forward and backward thing in unison and I can never time my escape quick enough that I don't think they will overtake me before I get to the ladder.  Yes, leave it to me to have the most stressful part of this whole "swimming" thing be getting out of the pool.  But I guess if that's the worst thing that I have to deal with while I swim, then I guess I'll be OK.

P.S.  Pool etiquette.  There should be a real list posted, not just the "no running/peeing" one. For clueless morons like moi.
P.P.S.  Bonus - the lazy in me says "hey, you got wet, you combed your hair - no need to take a shower once you get home" - that is a WIN in my book!


  1. Yeah! I am so excited that you not only survived swimming but are going to use that as one of your exercises while your ankle heals. You will get used to it. Buy some hand things.. they go in your hands and make it easier to do your strokes down the lane (otherwise your fingers will get tired) Also, you can run in the pool.... you buy a water belt and shoes and off you go.

    Good luck!

  2. Good for you, Shelley!

    I am an awful swimmer (I can do it, but I don't like it.) I'm good at floating on a floaty thing. And most indoor pools make the water really cold for the competitive swimmers, so every time I get in, I want to cry (well, when I'm in a cold climate anyway - I'd probably love it in FL)!

    The "Grey Panthers" sound rather daunting - like a pack of old ladies who are coming to get you and won't let you cross the pool :)

    I'm like you - the pull-up and twist move to get out of the pool is not easy. I've gotten into some rather un-lady-like positions trying to scramble out of the water and onto the ledge!


  3. Love this post, you're such a good writer.

    I have swam a lot when I was young, I was pretty good at it too but i can't remember when I last did it. My gym has a pool, not a big one but I never used it.

    I have to rethink what I want to do for crosstraining after the half marathon. Do I want to add swimming or not? Also need to think if I still stay at this gym when my membership ends this year.

    I am very proud of you that you stepped out of your comfort zone and tried swimming.

  4. haha, I don't really know how to swim. Well maybe enough to keep my head above water for about a minute but I'm still contemplating a gym this summer with a pool as a back up plan in case something happens to really mess up my leg. sigh. damn you biomechanics!

  5. The Gray Panthers??? OMG, that brought a chuckle. Maybe you should join them for water aerobics (it is one heckuva a workout btw)...not because of the who "gray" thing but it would be cool to call yourself a panther :-)

    Oh, I used to swim competitively...and I know my way around a pool...but I can't gracefully get out of one either!

  6. Good on you for being open to the swimming! It certainly wouldn't be in my comfort zone, either. I hope you are appropriately proud of yourself and your Universe for supplying you with all the right things at just the right time. It's funny how those things work out if we are willing.

  7. When I hit my weight plateau and was running a ton, a trainer told me I needed to switch things up and suggested swimming! good fo ryou!

  8. ITA about the etiquette signs. Not only should they be posted at pools but on tracks as well!

    The thing I adore about you Shelley is, that even though you may take a roundabout way to arrive at a conclusion because you need to do it YOUR way, once you're there you 'dive in' (ha! yes, I do crack myself up!) headfirst and give it your all.

  9. I agreee with everyone, good for you! It is getting warm enough to swim here in the desert. Can't wait this year. I got a real cute suit, so I better use it!

    I am so glad to be back to reading AND commenting!

    Way to go!

  10. Wow, you are reminding me how much i miss swimming. I just might have to get myself to the gym. Of course knowing it's Texas, it won't be long before I can use our pool. I love swimming. I don't love the drive to the gym, undress, get wet, shower, reapply make up, get dressed and all that part. Keep writing. I'm hanging on by my fingernails, nubs that they are, and you're helping. :)

  11. Wow, I don't want to swim (ever) either. Part of it is the whole getting wet thing, but finding goggles that don't leak overwhelms me! Nice job.

  12. Well, how 'bout that? I can just see the headlines: California girl dives into swimming and becomes the next triathlete! You KNOW that's coming, don't you? So excited for you and excited to follow your journey.

    I think I only tried the hoist out of the pool once. I either use the stairs at the shallow end or one of the ladders. I don't care whose in my way.

    Hey, do they have a spa that you can sit in afterwards? Sometimes that was my only motivation to get in the pool.

  13. I love your blog, I follow it faithfully! I love swimming too, and I'm so glad you have discovered it. It takes more persistence than other sports I think... because it is so exhausting when you start, and you have to develop skills and confidence, but I really think it's the BEST exercise. I feel so strong and healthy after a swim. But I highly recommend a shower and shampoo after a swim - the chlorine can really get to you! I haven't been able to swim for a while myself (surgery and radiation for breast cancer, caught early, I will be FINE, and they told me not to swim until treatment was over, I think not to irritate the skin), but I am looking forward to getting back to the pool very soon!

  14. Good for you on the swimming. When I trained for my triathlon - the swim was the part I really disliked. I like to play around in the water, not actually swim. Real swimming just isn't very fun for me.

    Wish I liked it because it is very nonimpact!

  15. Oh I love this post, Shelley! I've had an approach avoidance relationship with swimming forever, and actually started getting into it for a bit at my cadillac gym. There's a reason why my blog URL is! You are, as always, an inspiration and a role model for being open minded about exercise and fitness. You are one of my heros.

  16. Swimming is a lot of fun. I'd love to have my own pool in the backyard but since the money tree is dead.....

    Gray Panthers?! Hilarious! I see a future relay team name there. ;-)

    Glad you're getting out there and trying new things. I was reading recently that we should always be looking to try new things to stimulate our brains and our bodies.

    PS: I also do the belly flop/lift leg/roll over exit. Always have. Very ladylike.

  17. What? A swim in the pool isn't the same as a bath and hair wash??? Come on now! You've got to be kidding me!!!!!!! haa haa haa

    Go you for breaking out of your comfort zone and swimming. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be able to swim regularly! (or do waht i call swimming at least)

  18. The universe is trying to get your attention with the word contains a word inside the larger word.
    Do I have to spell that word out for you?

    The lymphedema folks always tell us lymphedemaed people to swim but they also warn us against doing things that may cause an infection (things such as being alive, breathing, going to the hospital, swimming in public poos). So that is why I'm warning you about the gym poo(l).

  19. Yay you Shelley!!!! Sounds like the swim thing will become a habit. Have a great day.

  20. GOOD for you for trying out swimming. I am also awkward in the pool and would probably not do it unless it was a last resort!

  21. Hooray for becomming a swimmer! I am totally behind on my blog reading, but wanted to give you kudos for going back by yourself.

    I am not a swimmer by any stretch of the imagination - I just can't seem to get my arms, legs and breathing to be in sync. But, I am getting better - I am not as scared and I believe Tony would be shocked at how "real" it looks when I swim now!


  22. Is this how you feel?


  23. My gym has an outdoor pool, and I noticed today, it's still a little "leafy". Nope, not gonna do it. I'll wait until I get to NC in June, and then CA in August to do my swimming. On the other hand, the water park here has an awesome wave pool! In that thing, it's tread water or DIE. Waves and kids flying everywhere! Yippee!

  24. Good for you getting in the pool. I feel so lucky to have grown up swimming. I know it's a struggle for alot of people. The more you go, I am sure the easier it will be. It is such a great exercise!!

  25. TOLD YOU SO.

    Now you just have to write about it all the time so you kick me in the pants enough to get back to swimming too!

  26. I thought I was in good shape .... until I got in a pool and swam 25 yards. OMG! Its really hard work! I havent been in the pool with any consistency for months... maybe its time to get back in the water.
    You should also think about deep water running. Put on a belt and try jogging the length of the pool. It's not easy and its a good way to "run" while recovering from an injury.


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