As I said in my ‘trying to enjoy summer’ post, I plan to do more outdoor swimming. And I’m really pleased by saying I have indeed stuck to this plan.
How could I not when the weather outside has been amazing. Being the weather Goldilocks I am – where I don’t like it too hot or too cold; this weather has been the right kind of temperature for me. And like a moth to a flame, I have found myself drawn to spending my time swimming outdoor.
Now I must confess, I still swim with a float. Yes, I’m a mid-30 woman who still relies on swimming with a float. If it were socially acceptable, I would still swim with armbands on. I’m not kidding! The thing is, when it comes to swimming, I’m not very confident with it.
I’m the kind of girl who will freak out if my feet can’t touch the bottom of a pool. I will have a full meltdown if I find I can’t even stand on tippy-toes in the pool. I associate it with me being short and how most pools are designed for people at least over 5ft – I’m 4ft 10.
This is one of the reasons why I still swim with a float, as I have something that will not only keep me afloat but also something I can hold on to for dear life If need be.
A notion that I never got over when I young, water isn’t very solid. Ok, I’m not that obvious but what I mean is that when you out in the middle of a pool there is nothing to hold on to or to support you. You can so quickly sink to the bottom – which is another giant fear I have.
When I was at school, my teacher would make go to the deep end of the pool for the entire class, which traumatized me then and even still today. She would make everyone in the whole class look at me while I was in the deep end. As you can imagine, I would dread swimming lesson at school. I would hide in the toilet or fake my time of the month every week. My mum wrote a letter of complaint as I was getting so, but it didn’t do any good.
I’m someone who isn’t into ‘fun’ pool, the kind of pool that has tides machines or slides and fountain that sprayed you whenever you go near them. You know the type of pool I’m talking about. Any Londoner who is reading this and grew up in the 90s might remember a special fun pool place called ‘Water Palace’? It was billed as a fun place to splash about as it has tides machines, slides and everything ‘pool’ related. While all my friends would be excited about going there – you can imagine my reaction.
Here another thing, I hate getting splashed heavily with water. I was never one for water fights or running into sprinklers. So pools that have tides machines or water fountains I would actively avoid. A woman I used to work with was the same as me, and we bonded over a muted hate of ‘fun pool’.
So when I go swimming or when I look for a pool, I have two criteria: It mustn’t be a fun pool where a tide machine goes off every 15 minutes, and it doesn’t have a deep end and be one depth all around the pool.
Once I left school, I didn’t go swimming or use a pool for a long, long time as the school swimming experience was burnt in my mind forever.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, as I got older, I found myself wanting to take up swimming. Ok, here the thing, I kind of figure that now I’m older I can make up my own rules and do what I want and how I want. So if I feel more confident swimming with a float, then I will.
I find it so much better that way, as I feel relaxed as I swim. I let my thoughts wander, and I’m still exercising and not getting stressed or anxious.
If I play my card right and use the pool at the right time – when it less busy I can have the entire pool to myself. It glorious, a luxury that makes it all worthwhile.
So that my summer plan – to do more swimming outdoor and to spend my time enjoying it and playing by my own rules. What is your swimming experience, any horror story to share?