Once, I was was serious swimmer. Not for competition, but I was a lifeguard, WSI, teaching kids' lessons, and it was my primary source of aerobic exercise.
When I got into running, planning on doing the marathon at Boston, I quit swimming seriously.
When we moved here from Louisiana, I had been running six miles a day, but an ice storm convinced me that lap swimming was way mo' bettah in the dead of winter, so I got back into the nice indoor pool.
For a year and some, I swam laps five times a week, about a mile's worth. It took a while; by the time I trucked to the pool, swam, showered, and got home, it was burning up about an hour and a half a day. Plus my hair was turning green, my skin getting scaly, and sometimes they'd crank up the chlorine in the pool so high that it was inducing asthma attacks in some of the swimmers ...
So I eased off laps at the pool. Got back into martial arts, found a gym with weights, walked assorted dogs, had it covered.
The visiting family has in it a teenaged boy who will sit in front of the X-Box all day and all night if we allow it, and now and then, we need to pry him away from the tube and go do something physical. He likes basketball, is quick enough to dribble between my legs and drive to the goal, so we did that. And while we were at the gym day before yesterday, he swam laps.
So today, I offered to take him to the pool and rather than sit there in the bleachers watching, I figured what-the-heck, I'll do a few laps, too. How hard could it be? Like riding a bicycle, right?
I dug out the goggles and ear plugs, and Speedos. I made some fresh swimmer's ear mix–that's alcohol and white vinegar in equal amounts, with a touch of gylcerin. Put a few drops in before you get wet, under the silicone plugs, then a few more drops after you dry off, it help keeps you from getting otitis media, aka "swimmer's ear."
It is like riding a bicycle. Kind of. I recalled the basic strokes and could do them just fine. I've been in pools and paddled around and treaded water and all, but it has been twenty years since I swam laps. The water was too warm, and after thirty minutes of back and forth, I was done. Really done.
The wind in my sails isn't what it was ...
Maybe I should start hitting the pool a couple-three times a week again. We aren't getting any younger around here ...