The only place I knew, I could achieve my goal, was in water, while I swim. I had achieved it in the past when I could swim without getting tired for long durations (that was 2 hours almost everyday!) without a need to stop, like I was in a state of rest..while being in the state of uniform motion too. ( Yeah Right! If I managed not to drown myself while I took that nap, as I swam. For one, the body is in a lying down position taking care of gravity, anyway! ).
So, armed with this new found motivation and some swim gear, like the nose clip without which I would have had a blocked nose keeping everybody awake at night, the ear plugs without which I would be hopping sometimes on the right feet and other times on my left feet, trying to get the water out of my ears, and the goggles of course, without whose impressions around my eyes..I couldn’t have convinced hubby dear I did swim. Ok! Ok! I know you know. I land up at the lap pool only to find all the laps occupied! There was one lap that had only one person. Yey, that was a spot right there for me!
I call out to the life guard, “Mike”, to ask his help with joining the circle swim lane.
“If you tell me to get him out, I will. I mean, I know you. I don’t even know him!!.” the ex-marine says coolly, like he owned the pool. That was the moment I realized, I have a friend in this life guard :-) here!!
With his mediation, I joined the lane. I’ve been to the lap swim, not as regularly, of late but, I hadn’t seen the lanes as occupied as on that day.
“Wow, all these people, were hit by the motivation bug on the same day! I thought that I was the only one who got this idea of sleeping while you swim!”
I love swimming laps but, I hate, hate, h…, to share a lane with somebody because I end up injuring my inner elbow scraping it with the lane divider, trying hard not to bump against people I share the lane with.
But, on that day, we were all motivated swimmers, so, those constant scrapes against the dividing rope didn’t matter. It was a different thing that my inner elbow had turned black and blue after the swim.
The first 10-16 laps are the most tedious ones. After that, every lap becomes mechanical. The body gets used to being in that constant state of motion. Other days, they are the most energetic ones too. Depends on ones state of your mind. Then the eye starts to look for distractions inside the water, other than the floor of the pool! This is a very thoughtful time for me.
As I swim..when I’m not worried about my technique or improving on my speed, I have nothing much to do with my mind! Nothing to look at, nothing to hear, nothing to touch ( I mean other than water! :D ). I get this whole hour of a vacant space in my mind. Actually no so vacant for, I am flooded with thoughts. Cool thoughts, not so cool ones. Some thoughts so clever and some so petty, sometimes thinking about my kids or hubby dear…or a misunderstanding that happened recently. Myriad situation, countless thoughts. Sometimes, I write whole big blogs during this hour only to forget what it was about, after I’m out and sucked into the whirlpool of the day.
I was just completing my 13th lap when I felt this huge profile beside me from the corner of my eye who was swimming with such grace. Seeing that, my thoughts had just started to wander off, thinking about whales etc, You know, the ease, the grace with which they swim, in spite of their weight. I had been approaching the end of the lap, just as the figure was too. As I came close to the mark, the figure did a flip (OMG! the flip turn! ) just as I was bringing my face up for the breath. Suddenly, my face is splashed with a ton of angry water. Lesson # 1 learnt this swim session. Always stay on the other side of the pool, away from huge graceful swimmers! especially from huge graceful swimmers who do flip turns!
“Was this the 12th or the 13th lap?”, I thought. I had lost count.
I tell you, to keep count of your laps is the toughest challenge for a lap swimmer than the swim itself. Shouldn’t that friend of mine, I mean, the life guard, be doing that for me! I could see his profile above the pool. I could see him restless, not being able to keep himself occupied. Tough job being a life guard. He would take a seat but, soon he would be up and walking around the pool. Wouldn’t it have been so perfect, for him to keep count of the laps we were swimming. Whenever one looses count, just have to look up and ask him..
“What was my count, MIke?”
My lap count rule, if I miss the count, I start off with the lower number I remember, I was at.. Sure, this does makes me swim many extra laps. So, I started with the #12. I had just finished about 20 laps and I was just considering stopping a minute to re adjust my goggles as my head was starting to feel the pain, when suddenly, the knees of this lady who was swimming in the next lane jetted out with all the force she had used to surge forward in water, towards my ribs.
As quick as my reflexs could, it helped me dodge that knee from my ribs, and I moved ahead. Lesson #2 learnt..Make sure I don’t end up in tight spaces (you know when all the swimmers are at the same yard point of the pool!) and stay away from swimmers that swim like a frog! Stay away from swimmers who don’t keep their KNEES to themselves!
(Seriously, I think they shouldn’t allow swimmers to use breast stroke if more than one person is sharing a lap.)
After I saved my ribs from the big blow..I reach the end of the lane to mark my count..
“Was that the 19th or the 20th lap?”, I had lost count again!
It was a few minutes my partner, the one that I was sharing my lane with, had left. Just as I was starting to enjoy swimming alone in the lane, I spot another swimmer talking to “Mike”.
“Oh No!”, I think.
After he joins me in the lane..I start to scrap my elbows with the divider again! Now, he turned out to be a very strong swimmer. Yey!. Do you know what that means, the current that is generated in the water due to his speed, helps me go faster too! I suddenly felt that my swimming speed had just increased.
“Was that 29th or the 30th lap?”, I had unfailingly lost count again!
Its great to share lanes with such swimmers. Apart from the increased speed, it does another thing. It brings in the competition inside me. I start to race to keep up. I didn’t even have to exercise any will power.
So, struggling with my count and reveling in the extra bump in my speed, I manage to reach the 55th count. There were 5 more laps to go in this 25 yard pool. I look at the clock and realize, it was about an hour and 20 minutes already! Clearly, way more than a minute for a 50 yard swim. Not a good time compared to my previous record of 1 min per lap (to and fro!). But, I had surely managed to “unsleep” myself through the swim and gotten a taste of all the 3 laws of motion too!
All in all, it did motivate me to go back to swim the next day and the next for the whole week. Today after a gap of 2 weeks, which I used gloating at the success of my swim that week, I am all excited to achieve this “Swim while you sleep” bonanza again!
Hopefully, I’ll be able to pull my lazy arse to the pool next week! Please Gayatri, you can do it. You just need to stop finding reasons to no be at the pool. That is all it needs.
Disclaimer: This blog entry was not a result of the thought that came on during the swim, no doubt about that, right?!! :-)