Monday 15th April – Comfort Zone Preferred
After a weekend of continuous rain and tucked away indoors for the best part of it. You would think it would be a great temptation after waking up this morning to looking out and seeing no rain to want to get out.
Well, it was a yes on one sense but a no in another. Couldn’t wait to get out but not looking forward to going swimming, especially after last Friday’s session. I have to admit I don’t enjoy swimming, there is no real comfort zone there even though I’d been working at it for nearly two months now. It has become a laboured event in my head as the countdown starts leading up to stepping into the pool into what I consider a foreign environment. Even though my star sign is Cancer supposedly a water sign, it doesn’t run true with that.
So, I literally forced myself to go swimming this morning thinking, well at least I will enjoy the walk to the pool if not the swim and at least it’s not raining.
09:44 on the car park ticket machine and no pause moving into the school swimming complex. Exact money in hand and first into the changing rooms where the floor was still wet from the mop woman who I passed walking in.
Normally I change my clothes next to a radiator which is usually on, today it wasn’t. Shame, as it dries my gear once returning after the swim whilst I get dresses. (It is quite hot). Still, old habits die hard as this spot remains the first choice.
The changing room sees many students walking past as there is a gym and table tennis room next door further along the corridor. It is not private at all when changing clothing. Once the changing room door is open, anyone passing can see in. Even more of an indiscrete place to be without clothes on in the shower room. If that entrance door is open there is an open view of showering men right along the corridor, past the gym and table tennis room and right through to the reception area where crowds of students travel through. My tactic is always to have my back to the door, that way all anyone gets if they peep is a sight of my bum. That’s the least I can do in this situation. No big deal as Bulgarian men and women just don’t seem to have any scruples about being seen nude, albeit not from the point of being an exhibitionist. You only have to see a car parked on the side of public roads for a toilet break to realise this. There is no Indiscretion that gets in the way of a chore and the same applies here.
After a cold shower, it was now getting back to face the music and back to trying to enjoy swimming. With some warm-up arm swings and stretching exercises outside the pool it was an in the water and some bobbing after ‘cementing’ my goggles on. They still leaked as I took into the breaststroke warm up. Having put some more toothpaste on the goggle lenses this morning I was determined to try and live with these goggles, but each session the leakage gets worse. It ends up having to swim with your eyes closed until the end of the length is reached to empty out the water.
Eventually, there was a seal made but not before 6 or 7 adjustments had been made.
Breaststroke lengths continued as the thought of going into freestyle and further out of the comfort zone didn’t appeal. It was a full twenty minutes of breaststroke before I decide to get on with other drills. Not knowing how many lengths I did doesn’t really matter. The main thing here and a positive thing was that I could have gone on indefinitely with the breaststroke. But as before in sessions with breaststroke, the pace is dire.
The front crawl was now in line and the aim was just to try and relax and use very slow strokes. This was done and the challenge was to do three lengths without a break. Two lengths had been the norm up until now and I knew that if the third length is achieved there would be a lot of tensing up and a little panic set in that as it disturbs the breathing technique.
Into the third length and my predictions were right, it was almost back to the drawing board with the technique trying to push towards the last few metres in very uncomfortable and tense style. The result inevitably is being out of breath at the end. This is what I have to try and avoid. I just can’t see where an extended swim of more than 50 metres in freestyle can happen without a break to get my breath back. Yet in the breaststroke, I can fulfil that.
More lengths of freestyle taken up with two length bursts which are manageable. Then my thought went back remembering that not that long ago only one length was manageable, so a little ray of hope rang in with this.
The session ended after 40 minutes in the pool and nearly all of that time was full blown swimming with only a few bobbing breaks. I could have gone on more but there was a queue of people wanting to use the pool so I gave way to them.
Shower, back at home and certainly happier than I was last Friday.
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