Water World

Why do they call a particular swimming stroke the butterfly.
It should be called the whale as a tidal wave was created across the pool as the big beefy bloke with shoulders that look like they would carry a bucket load of damsels in distress, throws both both arms over at the same time punching the water “Wreck it Ralph” style.
The old timers hanging on to the sides as they lose their balance while they stroll up and down in the slow lane.
I love swimming. It’s just a whole water world of wonder.
And it is fascinating to observe and be part of. I love it.

The early mornings giving me something right now that is different to the evening.
Slightly later on a Sunday just for an extra few zzzz’s and a longer pre swimming sit in the garden.
A first morning image of food really did “amuse bouche”. And then I did what I’ve been doing every morning. Letting my phone choose my first song of the day through shuffle. Dawn being today’s version.
Ok ok it’s not real. It’s my dreamy head and imaginations. Is it?
Cause it sure does feel real to me as I sit quietly in my own little space in the world. I certainly don’t make it up and it often feels a lot more real than what I sometimes experience in the “real world”.
It’s just no one else sees or feels it in that moment.
My tune to accompany this post was just shared with my by my little sweetheart who said she likes it.
The more we are connected right now the more I see some of the crossovers that she rarely reveals externally but are what we shared when she was a little girl. Kids experience the world in a very different way. I think their senses being more attuned to what’s beyond.
It’s a beautiful song. It resonated with me a lot.

Anyways back to water world.
It’s my only version of socialising right now.
A very peaceful and relaxing version where few words are spoken when you are swimming. Otherwise you would swallow a whole load of water. But nods and smiles suffice.
I like the peacefulness of it.

I even like the process of going for my early morning swim. Get out of bed, Shorts, t shirt, flip flops, put my hair up, have a cuppa in the garden for half hour and then off to swimming.
Followed by Shower and wash my hair after to make myself more presentable to the world beyond.
That’s about as far as I can go with am actual routine every day. But I like it… right now.

I like the good mornings at the front desk and then with those in the changing rooms. Little small talk. It’s a really friendly place.
There is a diverse mix in the morning but I notice it’s not the place of the young bird.
Everything else but.
Although saying that they are quite rare in the evening also.
The gym is visible from the pool and they tend to exist up there in all their cute outfits looking beautiful.
Less jealous more reminiscing in my differences in being twenty to now. Would love to still have my 20 year old body and lack of responsibility. But Its just evolution.
I wonder what the world would be like if it was only filled with twenty somethings?
All over by 30. What a strange thought.
I’ve liked so much in every decade so far. But I think I fear walking up and down the slow lane in the future and yet they always look pretty happy even with their aching joints and their wrinkly buns.

What I notice is the way I swim which reflects quite a lot about me as a person and how I live life and then the other different types of swimmers which makes me wonder if they reflect the same.

So when I get to the pool I jump under the shower and do a quick scan of the pool before I walk in. Not checking out the talent. Well I’m sure I would clock that too if some god walked through. But instead deciphering the different types of swimmers and how I will fit into that. Something quite analytical about that.
Slow, medium, fast lanes. And the three jacuzzis to the side. In the evening they are testosterone fuelled as the body builders and fitness fanatics sit in there after there rigorous workouts.
Still haven’t set foot in the gym since my initial walk round. Doesn’t hold any desire for me.
Have a bike at home and would prefer to ride my real one through the forest. Feeling the motivation rising in that when the next lot of sunshine comes. Doing everything as it feels right and I’m ready.
My stars this morning that my girl sends me every week said that this is a time for taking care of myself. This period will last till October. Blimey.
And it also said “you do so much for others. From now until October is a time to pamper yourself and find peace. Time for You”.
I love that. Time for me sounds lovely.

Once again I got slightly diverted in my “rambles”

So fast tends to be full of the front crawl or whale stroke swimmers. Splashing everywhere, ploughing through the water with intent. They tend to have proper serious swimming attire complete with swimming hats and goggles. They always seem to have a plan as they check their waterproof watches and set off against the stopwatch. These swimmers mean business. They aren’t there to relax. They are there to work every muscle in their body and … well I don’t know what goes through their mind as they swim. Come on Faster faster… or perhaps nothing at all. Zoned out under water with just the sounds of their own splashing.
Sometimes they warm up with push ups against the side. I can’t help but chuckle inside. Mini Olympians. I like their style if perhaps not their waves.

I only enter that fast land if the middle is full and there are no other swimmers in there. But as soon as I catch sight of a serious swimmer I move straight over. Too much pressure and getting drowned as they overtake and you get caught in the riptide.
I’m just not a serious swimmer. I don’t belong in that lane.

Medium lane. This tends to be my main home. If it’s packed and slow is empty it’s a similar scenario to the first. Again I don’t like to impose on a lane that tends to be for very slow swimmers and walkers. So only if it’s empty. Generally it’s the older golden crew who are out in force in the early morning swim.
I like them. They smile and talk to me like I’m the twenty year old of their water world. They always make me feel young and lovely as I stroll round in my bikini as though I should be at the beach. I don’t have a swimming costume. Don’t like them. Uncomfortable. Feel the freeness just in the lack of constraints of clothing and heels and perfect makeup and hair. Not that I’m ever that put together (more of a jeans and T-shirt girl) but you know… I like to dress up for the right occasions.

What I notice pretty much within the first five minutes is the middle lane pace. It can be very mixed as everyone swims up and down. Up and down. All in a little line. It’s emptier at nights. It’s why I liked that version. So I’ve had to find what works for me in this busier version. While in the shower pre getting in I generally clock fastest to slowest within a lap. This forms the basis of how I swim. Again very analytical.
Why? Because I never overtake.
The main difference to how I swim is that I
change directions at certain moments. I do this so that I don’t hinder other faster swimmers but more so because it allows me to find more space to swim in. Switching direction behind the fastest so I don’t get caught behind the slowest.
I hate that feeling of someone being right behind me and imagine they must feel similarly.
And overtaking always feels a bit like saying
“You’re too slow”.
We all have our pace. I like to think we can exist within the same lane without having to make someone else conscious of theirs.
Changing direction in moments creates a lot space.

I swim breaststroke which is slower than front crawl but I’m still fairly speedy in that especially when I have space.
I’m also a very quiet swimmer. Don’t make any waves or even ripples. I could easily be invisible as I tend to glide silently through the water and weirdly just as in life people always smile at me. I do tend to catch people’s eyes. Think actually I smile first and then they smile back.

You can tell the competitive types. I saw it today as a man from the middle moved over to the fast lane and then raced against me without me racing. What’s that about? I caught him checking over several times as I stayed side my side as he started splashing a little more.
I laughed inside.
I don’t have that competitive streak. I just like swimming and just carried in at the same pace. He finished just in front of me and looked very happy. I guess we all need what we need as I turned round and came back the other way.

I’m not sure what I’m taking from any of it than I notice that I’m better at changing directions and creating the space I need than I think. Sometimes that strategy works as I see everyone following going up one way as I have a clear path ahead going back. It feels nice. I’m able to switch off in those moments and feel free to swim in my own way without having to worry about anyone else.
Swim for thought 💭

2 thoughts on “Water World

  1. I loved this article as soon as I started to read it and had to eat it all up twice!
    I am a former competitive swimmer and by former I mean from the ages of 6 to 17…I am about to turn 61. I,too, enjoy swimming in the mornings at the local pool and have done the exact same thing…scan…pick a lane…turn about in that lane to free up space before and after myself and if there is a “free lane” I am most liekely to choose it until someone invades my space that won’t fit my speed/style/day.
    Thank you!


  2. What a lovely comment. Thankyou!
    Wow … competitive swimming I hear it takes a lot of time, dedication and early morning and evening swims. It has to be something you really love. I imagine at 61 you would fly past me as I dreamily swim as though I’m on some Caribbean island. Although I had no choice but to take the fast lane this morning. It was so busy. I felt like a shark was behind me for the entire time but it sure made me work a little harder. I loved hearing your version of what swimming means to you and our shared strategy of finding that space. It’s a pretty magic place to be isn’t it. Thanks B 😊


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