School holidays means swimming lessons for my offspring and a stomach full of chlorinated pool water for me.
While they learn the basics, I’m brushing up on my non-drowning technique by doing 14 laps(700m), of freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke. I get a hot shower and coffee as reward. I need the reward and I need to practice positive self talk; words like gliding and smooth and relaxed. Why? Somehow words like drowning, suffocating and sinking float into my ear during laps of freestyle. I don’t like swimming. I do like coffee. And improving, and getting some cardio fitness.
I can swim. The tiny country town I grew up in had a pool and little else(except an awesome netball team – go Redbacks! Premiers1984 – you can get my autograph later). The Prison Farm Pool was tended by the prisoners from the minimum security prison down the road. They were just men in green to us. Mum worked at the hospital there and gave them their pills. They kept the pool pristine, the lawns cut, the change rooms clean.
I did loads of swimming and lessons. I was pretty good too. And I worked in the pool canteen during holidays(ate as many lollies as I sold). That was back when a Musk Stick was 2c and Strawberry & Creams, Raspberries, Liquorice, Cobbers, Fantails, Minties, Jelly Snakes, Jelly Babies and Chico Men would only set you back a few cents each.
I still get to watch my kids but swimming for 20 minutes during their lesson means I’m moving instead of sitting. And its a change to my usual exercise routine which keeps things fresh. I just have to work on swallowing less water. Chlorine and coffee don’t mix well!