Recently myself and some friends have taken up swimming semi-regularly. Having toyed with many different types of exercise and failed on every account, I’ve been keen to find something that gives me a good workout but doesn’t feel much like working out. Running is too boring, the gym is too pretentious, bikram yoga is too intense, and anything that requires me to put on a video and exercise in my relax home time is just naat happening.
Swimming has so far been perfect. It’s refreshing (especially on a hangover day), it works all your muscles, and you get to have a good old chinwag in between lengths. Yes I said chinwag. Yes we are old ladies. I’ve begun to realise that the reason swimming is so enjoyable for us may be because we don’t swim in the conventional way that most do. On our trips to the pool we see people arrive, swim continuous lengths in the fast lane, and leave (except for that man who swims in a retard diagonal position EVERY TIME). Our experience is slightly different.
We arrive, splash around a bit to try and get over the shock of the unnaturally cold water, and then float in the middle of the pool for a good 20 minutes. During this time we will catch up on life’s events. More often than not a great song will start playing on swimming pool radio and so of course we will do a dance routine. This is a surprisingly hard feat when over half your body mass is under water. Let’s just say some of the dance moves don’t work as smoothly as they might normally (because normally we are smooth masters).
This sort of behaviour could be embarrassing in a public place where dancing is not a regular occurrence, especially whilst watched by many mothers waiting for their children to learn to swim. But we are simply in our element. I definitely saw the lifeguards clicking and dancing along last time. You know they love it.
After a sufficient amount of chill time, we might do a length or two. One of us will attempt to swim backwards so as to carry on chinwagging, most likely causing a crash. We will then take a breather at the other end of the pool where most people like to push off for their next length. We definitely never get in their way. Okay that’s a lie, last time a man dived over my head because he couldn’t be bothered to wait for me to move. I’d only been there for 10 minutes, god.
Occasionally we will get into a bit of a swimming streak (like, 4 lengths in a row, wow) but normally we will end up defying any kind of swimming system and annoy everyone swimming in the correct direction. All the swimming through a sea of men.
You could say that our version of ‘going for a swim’ might not be particularly productive. Could it actually be called exercise? I believe so. Our ratio of swim to chat/other-non-swim-activity might be unconventional, but we stay in that pool until our fingers are like wrinkly wrinkled things which means we must have done a justifiable amount of exercise. Unlike other exercise forms, the thought of going swimming doesn’t fill me with dread or make me want to rebel and eat 3 and a half bars of chocolate under a blanket on the sofa. We have a side order of fun with our exercise, and that’s definitely how it should be. Here I come bikini body.