Cleveland, fitness, swimming, yoga

fish out of water

So it turns out that swimming is not quite the same as riding a bicycle.

That is, the theory being that once you get back on a bicycle after a long period of time, you intuitively remember how to, y’know, cycle. Yesterday I got back in a pool for the first time in years and couldn’t remember how to, y’know, swim. I mean, I knew how to not drown. I also knew how to do an hours worth of laps in the pool. But my form, my technique, was so totally not what I had been taught in my childhood and elementary school swimming lessons. Like, my arms were doing a sloppy breaststroke while my legs were doing a normal kick. And I could not for the life of me remember how to do a freestyle stroke, even after watching one of the other two people in the pool with me. I tried it for about half a length and gave up.

The pool is located at one of the recreation centers operated by the city of Cleveland and it continues to amaze me that this is all free for residents. That on a Friday afternoon I can go play racquetball for an hour and then go swimming for an hour and it doesn’t cost me anything (okay, well, it cost me a pair of goggles, a swim cap, and a lock for the lockers, but that’s all negligible). The treadmill in my apartment complex? Also free. Y’know, with rent and whatever, but you know what I mean. In fact, while I now am someone who works out several times a week, the only thing that costs me anything is my yoga classes at The Studio and I always consider that money very well spent.

Last night I had dinner with my friend Missy at XYZ Tavern, and over a salad and side of fries I was telling her how sometimes when I take a moment and step outside of myself I have absolutely no idea who I am anymore. Not in a bad way, it’s just, hello, I wake up at 5 in the morning to practice yoga. I did laps in the pool for an hour. I apparently like jogging?! Who the hell is this woman? It’s good to find that you still have the power to surprise yourself, but man.
One of my rewards for myself is a new bathing suit. I’ve changed it to when I hit my original goal weight of 175, figuring that it’s only 15 pounds above my new goal weight so the fit of a bathing suit shouldn’t be affected by such a small change of weight. That being said, I think I’m going to have to end up buying a new one way before I get to 175 as the one I have now was feeling a little bit lose, especially in the bust area. Every time I started a new lap I had to double check to make sure the force of the water against me didn’t make anything go flying out.
I had forgotten how much I love being underwater. The calm and stillness that comes in doing laps, having your lane all to yourself, no noisy kids splashing around and disrupting the peace. (Yay adult only open swim) There were only three of us in the pool and there was a lane between each of us so it was almost like having the pool all to myself. Not gonna lie, though: even at 30, there is a part of me that secretly wishes I could be a mermaid. My waist length red hair? All because of Ariel (true story).
Of course, it was only later that I realized something a little odd: One of my favorite things to do in the pool is walk on my hands. Don’t ask me why, but I love doing it. The thing is, water isn’t that stable. I mean, it’s water. It’s a liquid, there’s nothing solid holding me up. So I can walk on my hands in a pool but I can’t do a supported headstand against a wall because I’m afraid I’ll fall over? That has to be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my entire life. Which means I know that I physically have it in me to do a headstand in my yoga class, I just have to get over the mental hurdle.
I have to remember that I am not Wile E. Coyote and going to plummet to my death in a canyon. I’m not even the Roadrunner. I, ladies & gents, am a fucking phoenix and I will figure out how to stand on my head.
Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

1 thought on “fish out of water”

  1. A few things here…

    First of all, I'd completely forgotten about Hudson's mandated 4th and 5th grade swim lessons during gym class. Memories, memories.

    Second, I spent YEARS (literally, YEARS!) with my head underwater at swim practice – I mean, I don't think my hair ever dried during my four years in high school. And yes, even with all my training, I still have had an impossibly difficult time getting back into “swimming shape” as an adult. I am floored that you spent an hour swimming laps; I can't get over the 50 minute hump.

    Third, GO FOR THAT HAND STAND! Hand stands, head stands and other inversions are my absolute favorite yoga poses. I know you can do it!!!


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