Getting back on the (sea)horse

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.

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