Archive | 6:24 am

Pool rhymes with fool. Coincidence?

20 Nov
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Photo by Sabrina Schulz from Pexels

The year I turned 40, I celebrated by logging over 100 miles in a pool. Not all at once, but over the course of the year. (I know, not nearly as impressive, but c’mon – when did YOU last swim 100 miles?!) I wasn’t a daily swimmer, so I’d hit the pool twice a week and knock out a mile each time. I enjoyed the routine because it was both a form of meditation and reflection and it kept my waistline in check without much effort.

So when’s the last time I swam a mile? Um, probably the year I turned 40. Sadly, I abandoned the habit shortly after I hit 100 miles. I can’t remember the TOP reason I stopped, but I do know it was some combination of the following:

  • I stopped my gym membership to rejoin a yoga studio.
  • I started growing my hair out and was tired of it breaking in my cap and getting discolored from the chlorine.
  • I heard a story about how much pee is likely in a public swimming pool.
  • And then I saw a study that said most people getting in a pool have a nickel-sized dollop of poop on them. Yeah.

Actually, now that I review this list, I’m pretty confident that the final bullet point was the catalyst for my abandoning the pool. I mean, I kind of just dry-gagged just typing it.

And yet – I decided to get back in the pool last week. Maybe I’ve gotten more comfortable with human waste (I haven’t) or maybe it’s that my clothes are fitting too tightly (they are), but for whatever reason, I decided to get back in the pool. 

So here are my observations after a 5+ year hiatus: 

  • I can no longer swim a mile without stopping. That shouldn’t surprise me, but it does. A good reminder that if I want to be able to do something at 90, I better not stop doing it now!
  • Miraculously, my suit still fit, but I think that’s mainly because the elastic is shot. While doing the breaststroke I had to look down to make sure I wasn’t *literally* doing the breaststroke – the top of my suit was so loose it felt like I was swimming topless.
  • I still managed to lap someone (who even got in the water after I did!), which made me wonder when she had last been in a pool.
  • Someone had spilled Chewy Mini SweetTarts in the pool and:
    • It was recently enough that they still retained their color;
    • They were on the bottom of the pool – I was surprised they don’t float; and
    • It was a confirmation that children regularly (and recently) use the pool and don’t respect the rules, which means they are probably ALSO peeing in it and NOT showering the nickel-sized dollop of poop off their butts before entering.

So now I’m at a crossroads:

  • Do I go all Sheryl Sandberg and “lean in,” knowing that this form of exercise likely entails ingesting poop? (And yes, this metaphor actually works on a lot of levels – she’s currently defending Facebook for not taking measures to prevent election interference, so…)
  • Or do I throw in the towel on swimming?

Stay tuned.