While I enjoy the idea of swimming laps, the whole process of packing up a bag, changing into a suit, getting wet, seems like a lot of work. Which is why I’m so proud of myself for actually making it to the pool today. I feel like a gold medal winner and I haven’t even dipped my foot in the water.
I look for the slowest lane and slip into the water. I adjust my goggles and push off the wall. Slow and steady, I cheer in my head. Just keep swimming.
I swim two laps and I hang on the side of the pool panting like a dog. I can’t seem to take in enough air.
“Honey,” an older woman with perfectly coifed hair calls out to me. “Can you not splash when you swim?” It’s one of the three seniors who lingers in the adjacent lane socializing after their water aerobics class.
Splash, I think. How does one swim without kicking their legs?
The next lap I stop kicking ten feet before I reach the woman and use my arms to crawl/drag myself to the wall. I hang on the side to catch my breath. “Was that better?”
“No, honey, still splashing,” she says.
I switch from freestyle to breaststroke and keep my feet and arms under the water when I pass.
“Better?” I pant.
“A little splashy,” she says.
The next lap I dive beneath the water and aim for the wall. The effort proves monumental. I break the surface and gasp.
“Just like that,” she says. “That’s perfect.”