Thursday, 26 June 2008

Treading water



I think this is my third or fourth week of swimming regularly. I can't tell you the difference it is making to me, it making me feel so much better, physically and mentally. This week at home has felt like I have been, to carry on the swimming theme, treading water. Going nowhere in particular, just keeping my head above the water. Some days it has felt like I've literally been swimming underwater, I have felt so unfocused and slightly disoriented. When I was little I would love to swim underwater, darting across the pool, jumping up and startling people. I'm not enjoying the experience much these days.



Today at the swimming pool, for the first time in weeks , I felt completely relaxed and was able to drift off to somewhere so pleasurable that I almost forgot to count the lengths (so very important to Little Sister) and was surprised now and again to catch the odd tune coming over from the other pool where the women's aquarobics class was being held, I had completely forgotten my surroundings and it was just what I needed. We all need a little break from reality don't we and the thirty minutes or so in the pool today gave me just that.



I go to a women only swimming session at the pool and I can't recommend it enough. Women of all shapes, sizes and ages go along and I have never felt less self conscious. Some of the pool has been sectioned off into lanes but I prefer to stay in the "anything goes" section. After just a couple of weeks faces are familiar, women of my age accompanying elderly mothers for a swim (what a good way to spend some time together), younger women and a couple of very elegant older women who seem to go for a good old chat rather than a swim. Today as I swam around them I caught snatches of their conversations - Jack Russell terriers. Sunday roast lunches, Lord Snowdon and Princess Margaret, were just some of the topics. It made for a very interesting, and slightly surreal few seconds each time I swam past them. They started off swimming but after a short while they gave up and walked up and down the pool, sometimes waving their arms in the air as if doing the breast stroke. What was interesting was that every woman in the pool had to swim wide to avoid them and nobody minded. We were all as interested in catching their conversation and gave each other knowing smiles as we passed.
Now if only everyone in life was as kind and generous (well I know you all are in blogland!).



Am I alone in loving that moment when you push off from the side of the pool and literally glide across the water - it's a beautiful feeling. The sun was shining through the glass panelled roof and as it hit the water I remembered long hot sunny days when I was a little girl when my parents would take me to an open air pool in the countryside. We seemed to spend days there. picnics on grassy banks, splashing around, eyes sore with chlorine, never failing to fall into the stinging nettles by the changing rooms and that long car drive home where you were oh so tired and yet oh so happy, with the prospect of what seemed like endless days of the school holidays ahead of you.



Ladies I'll be going next week if you care to join me ...

38 comments:

Cowboys & Custard said...

Hello Kim.. You have just answered my question..
I wondered if you had taken the plunge today.
You have also pricked my conscience as I promised to join you (in spirit) on your weekly swim..
Yes I know exactly what you mean about pushing off from the side and that wonderful feeling of liberation..
Swimming pools are wonderful places to meet and observe life's rich tapestry of people.
Maybe next week then!
MXX

Simone said...

I will join you in spirit too! I am too self conscious to go swimming for real and I have to be able to put my feet on the bottom! I do remember that feeling of pushing off from the edge of the pool and gliding and the weightlessness. I think given a choice and if I could I would rather fly and soar high above buildings and forests and seas....I am off daydreaming again.

driftwood said...

I go swimming every week although I go to a class because I need to know someone will nag me if I don't turn up! I love the freedom and the way the rest of the world doesn't exist as you swim up and down up and down - not very fast and not very skillfully, but no-one is watching, and of course you have a great excuse to eat chocolate when you get home!

Heidi Ann said...

Hi Kim, Your writing always just amazes me! So beautifully descriptive!...I can just imagine myself in that pool, with all the ladies & being able to happily eavesdrop a bit!...And thank you for your comment about my "vacation" in England! Do you live somewhere near there?...I must get a map of England out & become a bit more familiar with your country!... I will be looking out for you friend!...We can sit & chat, about our girls, about crafting & about Jane Austin!...Heidi XO

Knitty, Vintage and Rosy said...

What time?





If only...

Why is England so far from Canada?

Lisa xo
Knitty, Vintage and Rosy

the flour loft said...

A lovely post Kim and so beautifully accompanied by the pictures of your glass of water.
It's pretty busy at the end of term isn't it and so nice to have some time to yourself. Swimming is great.
I took my children to their swim lesson at the weekend and i had a strong urge to jump in fully clothed as the water was so inviting. I didn't though. I think the girls would have been mortified!
ginny x

periwinkle said...

I really should take the boys swimming but to be honest I'm too scared as I can't swim properly myself. You make it sound so lovely
lisa x

Lavender hearts said...

Hi, Just to let you know I have tagged you, please see my blog.

Sian x

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

Sounds heavenly, Kim! We have a local pool at our disposal which I only use when my kids are home - never when I'm alone. Hubby swims there regularly. The last time I swam regularly was during one of my pregnancies (and it made me feel sooooo good)! I think I need to follow your lead!

My parcel arrived - thank you! The greeting cards are DARLING! And I thank you dearly for the floral faggies, too! They are lovely! =)

Connie said...

I, also, have been feeling much better and fit recently! I'm just trying to create more and eating healthy......yuck, the 2 worst words in the english language, my turtle dove!! Good luck to you and so glad you like my lamp. I finished a "companion" to it today and have it up if you'd like to see!!
Smoochies from Idaho,
Connie

Hazel said...

Such an enjoyable post :) It takes me back a few years to when I worked in a primary school in England. 3 or 4 times a week I would leave work and join other women 'lane swimming' at the local pool. It was wonderful, I often caught snippets of conversation and would go off on my own little daydreams :)

Heidijayhawk said...

what a grand analogy. i hope we can all feel the joy of pushing off from the side and lose ourselves in the water.

tales from an O.C. cottage said...

All of your pictures are sooooo beautiful!!!!


M ^..^

Sal said...

Yes, of course I'll join you!
We'll have a splashing time!
Glad you are enjoying your swimming.
Sal;-)

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Hi Kim - You make it sound wonderful and I love your turquoise glass photos.
I'm not the worlds best swimmer. I can just about manage side stroke to keep me out of trouble.
Niki x

Curlew Country said...

Beautiful, evocative post Kim, I really enjoyed reading it, it brought back blissful memories. Swimming was a huge part of my childhood and teenage years. I was in the school synchronised swimming team at high school (I was rubbish but loved it!). Pushing off and gliding is bliss. Its a joy to see my boys gaining confidence in the water and learning to love the same feeling.
Lovely pictures too, thank you.
Have a lovely weekend.
Stephx

Garden girl said...

a lovely post Kim, really enjoyable to read. Unfortunately I am not a swimmer. This is largely due to a horrid school teacher whose teaching methods involving throwing his pupils in and then 'encouraging' them to swim by holding a pole just out of reach and walking along the edge of the pool with it.Have gone cold thinking about it!Your descriptive words are quite encouraging though..maybe I'll give it a go again one day.x

Gina said...

Wow, that was really beautiful, how you write, it's just lovely. Thank you : )

Lucy Bloom said...

Hi Kim, so lovely and relaxing, I only really swim when I have the chance on holiday, silly really as I do love being in the water. I think self-consciousness has a lot to do with it, maybe I should investigate if they do ladies sessions at our pool.
Have a lovely weekend,
Lucy x

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

I have been considering a swimming regimen based on suggestions that may help my neck and back heal from a surgery I had over a year ago......you make this so much more appealing!

Anonymous said...

i love a swim even though i'm not good at it but just hate the getting showered and dressed after because i can't get into all the nooks and crannies in the changing room without loking as if i'm being very unglam. i end up going home damp and flustered. how does anyone else manage?

Among the Hedgerows said...

It's so hot & muggy here right now that a swim sounds divine! I'd love to join you but as our local pool is indoors, I'll be there in spirit.
xo,
Lynda

mollycupcakes said...

Fabulous post Kim,
I really enjoyed coming your swimming session and hearing all the gossip and stories.
I hate the thought of swimming and close my eyes with fear when Ben says those words "lets take the girls swimming" argh! I wish I could get over my fear of it, because I used to be like I fish under water. But sadly I had a very scary experience with a float and nearly drowning as a young girl. Now I panic in the shower if water gets on my face. Big wuss I know lol
Any tips on how to get over this?
Have a fab weekend
Hugs.
Catherine x

LOUISE said...

We quite often go down to the beach late afternoon when it is quiet for a swim. I am a bit self conscious of how I look in a swimsuit but if just us I really enjoy it. You are so right, a swim or splash does make you feel a lot better. I always enjoy a swim in a private pool on holiday too. I think there is a pattern forming here, I don't really like to be seen in public! I am so glad you are enjoying your social outing and keep it up, I can tell you are really enjoying it. x

Clover Yard said...

Kim, you have such a talent for taking your readers on a journey. A beautiful post indeed. I have had a water theme too this week - only I've been drinking lots of it, and like you I have been feeling the benefits. You have definitely inspired me to get back into the pool. Just need to find a way of shoe-horning me into my swimming cossie!
Carolx

julia said...

We used to go to an open air pool in Morecambe (of all places!) when we were children. They were some of the best times of the summer hols, Mum would pack a picnic and we would disappear for the day.
We have a beautiful 1930's lido very close to where we live now, all we need is the weather!
Keep treading water and beguiling us with your wonderful posts!
Julia x

Rosezilla said...

Awwww, so refreshing just reading about it! How I'd love to join you! I love swimming. Your pictures were gorgeous.

JuicyFig said...

ahhhh, right there with you...
if only getting dressed after wasn't such hard work!

I used to go to an aquatone class with my mum, and there were a couple of ladies there who would just walk up and down talking the whole time, we came to the conclusion it was a clandestine meeting of two childhood freinds who's husbands were cruel and kept them appart, and this was the only time they could see each other...lol!

Kath
x

silverpebble said...

That swim sounds magical - I'm with you on loving pushing off from the side - one of the only times I feel graceful and can imagine I'm a really good swimmer. I get real joy from sunlight on water - even swimming pools too. Lovely.

That little turquoise tumbler is very sweet.

French Knots said...

What lovely, evocative pictures.
I love to swim in the sea, the smell of it and the motion make it so enjoyable, especially somewhere warm when the sun seems to soak into your bones as you lazily glide to and fro.
The swimming pool, no not so keen really - our local pool is grubby and probably hasn't been cleaned properly since I learnt to swim there as a child!

Sian said...

I am taking my eldest daughter to her first swimming lesson on Monday. I swim like a cat - desperate and hating it!

You sound much more serene and beautiful.

Naturegirl said...

This was such a refreshing and inspirational post! I have been feeling out of sorts and puffy and I think a swim would help a lot! I love to float on my back totally relaxing my whole body and mind!Relaxing images with this post!

Gill at Lucy Locket said...

Being a Piscean I love water but I'm not a strong swimmer and have to be able to touch the bottom so it's always put me off...and I hate the changing afterwards! Love to swim on holiday in the hot sun but the local leisure centre doesn't have quite the same appeal. I do exercise 2-3 times a week at Curves a women only gym, which I love and it only takes 1/2 hour so I can fit it in after work. I feel so much better for working out and really miss it if I don't go for any reason. Anyway I'll join you in spirit for your next swim, coffee afterwards too?!

Jessica said...

I love summer because I can float carelessly in the pool for hours feeling weightless and relaxed. The pool hasn't warmed up quite enough yet, but I'm thinking by midweek I'll be in it almost daily until September!

Suzie Sews said...

I loved this post, it felt like I had written it myself as I so relate to all you said. I swim at least once a week, its my exercise even when I was unable to walk I swam (2 years with a pelvis problem). I took the children and taught them to swim now I go on my own, I adore the sound of the water as I swish through the blueness and the thinking time it gives me. I too love to catch snippets of peoples conversations, the two old ladies that slowly go up and down chatting eagerly waiting to help out the Mom with the baby so they can play with babe whilst mom takes a few lanes while she can. Its a peacful time which leaves me feeling refreshed and full of energy for the day. Sometimes I like it when someone I know turns up and sometimes I just want to hold on a little longer to that moment of peace and calm as the water supports me and washes away any blue mood I might have!!!

carolyn said...

Have to confess that I hate swimming which is such a shame as I have the freedom to have a pool all to myself throughout the week. My best friend has an indoor swimming pool, full size, complete with jacuzzi, showers etc which is available to us anytime. It's where my boys learned to swim.

Jennie said...

Ooh I might just have to find out about swimming sessions here! You make it sound so fantastic!

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