Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Swimming in the Rain and Pain

Swimming in the rain is so much more pleasant than cycling in the rain. You’re already wet, and you also get a huge boost of seeming tough and determined by swimming in inclement weather, while not actually adding any suffering to your process.

So I was quite happy to be headed to the pool for my second post-January-illnesses swim session. My happiness persisted until I realized that I didn’t have my trusty bright orange swim cap and beat-up pale green swim goggles (clearly color coordination is not a big part of my athletic routine). I waited for ages at the front desk for the helpful CalFit guy to look through the giant lost and found bag, but he came up empty on the goggles front. And to my amazement, the “gear” store at the front of the gym didn’t sell anything related to swimming. You have 3 pools at your place, including a dedicated lap pool, and it never occurs to you that swimmers lose their goggles like, ALL THE FREAKIN’ TIME? And that they would gladly buy a fresh pair at inflated prices? Clearly I need to be made manager at that place.

So I had three choices - go home, try and work out in the assortment of clothes I carry around in the car, or swim commando - no cap, no goggles. Going home was not really appealing, and neither was riding an exercise bike in my cargo pants and Vans. So I blinked a couple times, apologized to my eyes in advance, and suited up for the swim.

It wasn’t that much of a swim. I did a lot more backstroke than usual. Even some Esther Williams sidestroke (no relation, alas), just to give the eyes a rest. But I think I got about 900 yards in, and I felt pretty burly about it all. My arms and shoulders felt the effort. My eyes burned, which is not the kind of burn you are supposed to get while exercising. The cool rain didn’t really help soothe them, but it contributed to my sense of burliness.

I bought groceries and eye drops on the way home.


  1. You could probably make good money just setting up a nice little goggle sales stand outside that place! When I think how much I've spent buying emergency goggles at swim lessons for the kiddies . . . .


  2. Good for you...I need to do something and your posts are starting to inspire this lazy person.

  3. Great accomplishment! I haven't ventured into the pool yet (I swam competitively 30+ years ago...like riding a bike? :P yikes!) But I am interested to see what it is like swimming in our sphagnum moss filtered water...sans chlorine I understand. I think that means the rest of the world won't know I've been swimming just by wiffing my aerating pores. Although I was sort of counting on the chlorine to overpower my intense love of garlic...