Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In the water

Since the end of the summer I haven't been swimming in the sea much - my favourite activity for forgetting all my worries (when the cold hits you, you don't think about stuff)- but I'm in the pool at least four times a week, and while it is not as breathtaking as being in the ocean, it still has its benefits. In a recent post I lauded running, but swimming is up there with it, another solitary sport I enjoy. [ I think I did too many team sports when I was younger. At this stage in my life I like exercising on my own, although it's also nice to have a running buddy.]

What I love so much about swimming is that you do not touch the ground; you are temporarily suspended (if in a body of water), and it's the closest I can come to flying in my day-to-day life. 
I also like that while I'm in the water I am away from my mobile phone and the world, no one can reach me (unless they come into the pool!), and everything just falls away. Until you end up in the sauna, and suddenly human interaction is on the agenda again.

In the last two weeks I have become more serious about my swimming routine. Until then I tended to spend far more time in the sauna and steam room and less than 15 minutes in the pool. Now I regularly do 1000 metres and am hoping to keep it up.

In my gym swim bag (which was a gift from my sister. I love it - such a gorgeous colour and retro style - thanks again, Sibylle!):

- Flip flops. I am not sqeamish about these things, but I'd prefer not to get athlete's foot, and the floors and showers can be quite wet and slippery, so I wear flip flops. The leopard print and glitter of my current ones -and long may they last- brighten my mornings.

- Goggles. Mine are similar to, if not the same as, these (and I am so glad the shop I went to had such a small selection - looking them up online I am amazed at the variety; I'd be so indecisive), and I am very happy with them. My last pair started leaking recently; it was more fidgety (and more expensive), and I prefer the new ones.

- Bikini. This is an adidas bikini made for proper swimming. I may get a swim suit at some stage (even with this bikini I sometimes find myself checking if everything is still where it ought to be), but I like to be as naked as possible, with not too much material between the water and me. The same goes for the sauna and steamroom (in Ireland you have to wear swimwear in the sauna).

- Not pictured: swimming hat, towel, hairband, 1-euro coin for the locker, wide-toothed wooden comb for detangling hair prior to blow-drying it, soap, shampoo, moisturiser, and change of underwear

On the days I go swimming I am more careful about what I wear - sometimes I am still steaming from the steam room, and then it is very hard to get into a tight lace top. So I usually wear comfortable tights or leggings and a dress, making it as hassle-free as possible. Sometimes, if I have to be somewhere, I only have a quick water-only shower after my swim.

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