Friday, October 05, 2012

Hey, a Workout Post

I want to be one of those women who takes photos of themselves after a great workout. They look so happy and glistening with sweat. So I tried last night and it was the biggest dud, maybe swimming and psuedo-showering afterwards and then taking a photo doesn't have the same effect. I look like a wet dog with smudged eyeliner.

Last night was the second time I swam since we joined the gym. My first time was a tough experience for me because for some reason I thought I was going to get in the water and just start swimming laps. I did it in college! How hard can it be?

And it turned out it was much harder. It's like all of my social fears hitting me at once. 1) wear a swimsuit that's not a tummy friendly tankini or has a sporty cute skirt. 2) walk around a small pool with SCUBA folks messing about to a big pool with actual people in it without a cover up with the world's smallest freaking gym towels. 3) have someone watch me work out (a lifeguard, oh the humiliation), and 4) forget straight out how to swim and proceed to do everything in my power to appear like I meant to do that, I am not in fact drowning, and I like to breast stroke for 45 minutes (frog kicking that long does not hurt your legs).

Then get out of said pool now dripping wet with runny makeup and flat wet hair and waddle back to the locker room to shower in all sorts of bacteria (I forgot to bring shower shoes).

That was the first swim.

How was the second swim?

I have a gym bag but I'm still working out the logistics, where do I need it and when. Fancy shower shoes are expensive so I used flip flops and flip flops squeak when they are wet drawing further attention to myself, just what I wanted. I have a swim cap and I've never worn a swim cap in my life, it rode up a bit, more on that later, I have goggles which helped when the best thing in the world happen. Are you ready for this???

I remembered a fundamental point to freestyle swimming that I forgot. You have to breath out when your face is in the water. I was holding my breath and then when I turned to take a breath I had to blow out and blow in in that brief moment. Now the issue is when I'm swimming I feel like I'm loud. I blow out under water and it sounds loud. I take a breath and I feel like I'm gasping (drawing attention from the lifeguard, oh crap) and when I look up there are waves and fat girls aren't allowed to make waves, everyone knows that. Am I flailing about gasping loudly, riotously when I swim? I have no freaking idea because my head is underwater.

But, but, I did swim 3 lengths freestyle, this is a huge improvement over last time.

I got a kick board before I got in the pool so my routine was something like, try to freestyle, go into breast stroke. Breast stroke four lengths, use the kick board for kicking for four lengths, try freestyle again, into breaststroke and repeat. Swimming is kind of monotonous, I can swim a lap (2 lengths in like 3 minutes or so) so going for 45 minutes is a lot of laps. And no music, just your own depressing thoughts, HOW LOUD AND FLAILING AM I?

Then I got out, dried off with these ridiculous towels, put my flip flops back on and squeaked all the way back to the locker room where I sort of showered (I have swimming shampoo but I guess I need soap), impossibly dried off, the showers are hot and steamy and the towels are tiny and non-absorbent. They do have this spinner thing for your swimsuit that practically dries it in seconds, very cool. I think I'm supposed to go into the locker area to dry off, it's nice and cool in there but there's no way I'm going naked in that room or any room. That's just not me.

I worry about my phone too much and obviously workout photos aren't my thing so I'm going to leave my phone home next time. I'll bring soap. And I'll try to shake these horrible self-conscious feelings I have about swimming. This is supposed to be fun and it just brings up every single self-conscious thought I have to the forefront for me to just deal with. It's so hard. But I'm going to do it. And I'm going to get better and more confident.

I hope.


  1. Swimming laps is my favorite form of exercise. To make it a little less monotonous, I bought a waterproof iPod Shuffle from a company called Waterfi. They are true Apple iPod Shuffles that have been waterproofed. It works great! I listen to audio books while I swim laps. Check 'em out. (I don't have any connection to the company, I'm just a very satisfied customer)

  2. They sell goggles that have an MP3 player attached. Very cool and helps to keep a faster pace in the pool, plus helps with the lap boredom. The set I had was Finis-Swimp3.
    Good Luck.

  3. I smiled all the way through this because I had many similar thoughts on my yoga mat when I first started. I wonder if everyone does, when they either start something or go back to it after a long pause.

    1. Probably so. I keep trying to convince myself that "your body remembers." I'm hoping for the best. Those 3 laps were really the best. Then I saw Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy this weekend and Mr. Smiley was swimming breast stroke. Those English, they do everything right. ;-)

  4. A tip that made a huge difference for me: bring your own big bath towel from home. A big-ass bath sheet. It is the only thing that will fit around me. I hate those tiny little gym towels, and I just don't do "locker room naked." Or even better, pick up a little mid-thigh length cotten robe from Target (Gilligan O'Malley makes some, and keep it in your gym bag for post-shower.

    1. I love this. So obvious. I'm going to bring a big towel the next time I go. And the robe. I'm going to check out Target ASAP. Great suggestions.

  5. The mp3 suggestions are really great. I love the idea of listening to an book while I swim. I'll have to make sure I'm really committed to this sport before investing in a waterproof mp3, wow, they are expensive.