Today I cleared an item off my mental to-do list by going to the local pool for a swim. I had been a fairly regular visitor to the pool until last summer, when I signed up for an “improve your swim strokes” course and had a less-than-optimal experience.
In all fairness, the instructor was fine and my classmates were all very nice people. What ruined it for me was a convergence of annoyances.
- The course wasn’t at my regular pool but at a recreation centre halfway across the city, necessitating some fancy driving at the tail end of rush hour to get there on time.
- The pool was crowded, the room was chilly (especially after going through the shower on the way in), and the class didn’t have a designated lane and had to constantly fight for practice space.
- 2 or 3 lessons into the course I came down with a nasty cold and had to miss that evening’s lesson. When I was still sick a week later, rather than worrying about how I would catch up with the class I decided to withdraw and perhaps retake the course at a future date.
One of the more insidious outcomes of this is that I was nervous about going swimming again — not because I had trouble swimming, but because I was afraid of getting another cold. The two things had formed an association in my mind, and every time I thought about going to my usual pool I saw myself at the other one, shivering on the sidelines waiting for the instructor to show up so that the class could start.
I went to the pool tonight. My usual haunt. It was fine. I had an entire deep-water lane all to myself and did laps (16, I think, but I stopped counting at 10). Best of all, I remembered a few things from the course and swam better than usual.
It’s good to be back.