gasping for air…

I’ve been wanting to get back into swimming because it’s a great workout with almost no impact… and since this week’s workouts have been all about impact so far, I decided today was the day to swim and give my old lady joints a break.

As soon as I walked into the pool lobby, I was hit with the strong smell of chlorine and it just made me smile.  Who doesn’t have great memories associated with that smell?  Summers spent doing cannonballs with friends at the neighborhood pool, noisy and exciting swim-meets, playing marco-polo in a friend’s back yard pool…. ahhh, yep.  Good times.

After getting suited up, I went out to the pool and found that I had my pick of lanes since I was the only one there…

I picked the lane farthest from the door and jumped right in and treaded water for a bit so I could get used to the temperature… stalled around, jacking with my suit straps and goggles… and then finally started my first lap in a head-above-the-water breast stroke.  It felt good… really good.  I did a few back-and-forth laps like that and then got more serious with the head-down/pop-up version of the breast stroke.  When I came up each time, I found I was literally gasping for air… clearly, it’s a pretty good cardio workout if I was huffing and puffing in the water!

After about 10 laps, I took a breather and watched the other swimmers who had appeared some time during my 4th and 5th laps.  Everyone appeared to favor the freestyle stroke (which is just so graceful looking), so I thought I’d give that a whirl.  Ummm, yeah… I mostly drank water and coughed on that stroke, so I moved on to the back-stroke for a while instead.

After another gazillion laps (or it may have been 12 and just FELT like a gazillion), I stopped for another breather and got to chatting with the girl in the next lane.  She’s just started getting into tri-athalons and we were talking about different strokes, speed, etc.  I noticed that we were actually talking in hushed tones like we were in a library or something and I thought that was funny… guess we didn’t want to disturb the peaceful sound of only gentle splashes and soft gasps for air.  After just a few minutes of chatting, we both went back to our laps.

I ended my workout after about 50 minutes in the pool (probably a total of 35 minutes of good solid swimming).  As I was leaving, I thought about the other workouts I’ve done lately… cardio kick-boxing with blaring music and a shouting instructor, running group with people talking loudly and whistles blowing, walking steep hills on my treadmill with my iPod blasting out beats directly into my ears… how nice it was to end a hectic week with such a peaceful workout.

What workouts have you fit in this week?

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