As promised I joined a gym this week.  Only got there once – stupid work, always in my way – but that’s better than zero.  The new gym has a pool and I thought for my cardio work I would swim.  I swam competitively as a kid and enjoyed it, so why not?  I’m certainly no Michael Phelps, so I thought I’ll do 100m freestyle and 100m breaststroke as those were my favorites as a kid (screw you backstroke and butterfly!).

It…uh…didn’t go as planned.

If you don’t know, a standard pool is 25 meters long, so 100m is down and back, down and back.  Not too tough right?  Turns out it is when you’re 30 and out of shape.  As a 10-year-old I did 100’s like they were nothing.  I loved 100’s, I would much rather do those than 500s they made us swim in practice.

When I got in the pool, I was by far the youngest person in it.  Everyone else was good 10 to 30 years older than me, and they were all swimming along at a steady pace, so I figured this would be good.  About 35 meters in to my freestyle, I was way out of breath.  I finished the 50, and then watched these other people just swimming along as I tried to get my heart rate back down to a not-red-line type level.  I did end up swimming all the laps that I intended to, just with a lot more rest than I had planned on.

Turns out swimming is hard.  Still, I’m encouraged that I went and enjoyed myself.  It felt good to be back in a gym, and now I know I can use the pool to measure my progress.  I plan on swimming no more than twice a week, so hopefully in three weeks or so I’ll be able to knock down a full 100m set before needing rest.

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