Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Excuses Excuses Excuses

I woke up this morning early but not bright. I did my thang and dropped off the child at the pool. Depending on my schedule, I swim for a bit. By myself, all the way over at the other end where I will not be intimidated looking at the little ones swimming like fish. I thrash around a bit. I wear my watch and feel somewhat happy to note that I have stuck it out in the water for - whatever - 40 maybe 60 minutes.

I am not a good swimmer. I learnt last year and have tried to just stay afloat since then, in a sense. I graduated myself fairly recently to the 6 foot side, having spent a lot of time in the 4 foot side of both the IIT and the Velachery pools. My favourite trick is to flip over in the water - which I can only do in the shallow part, however. I can barely swim one lap, but I am getting better. I swim, albeit inexpertly, freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke- 20 meters at a time, then act like I am going to die and clutch the ladder.

So naturally the number of excuses I make to myself about swimming is fairly large. I have my period. I might have my period. I might still have my period. That one gives me lot of rope. And I merrily go off and run. Even in the nasty roads near the pool. I don't even mind that. But I resolved, among other things, to stop this nonsense and get to some reasonable level of aptitude in the water this year. So far, I have done okay - meaning I act like I am going die and clutch the ladder at 25 meters now.

Why the sudden fascination for swimming - something that has been a list item for years now - and which I have avoided for so very long? Lots of reasons. I would like to believe that primarily, I want to swim as cross training. If you are a runner or aspire to be one, you will instantly recognise that the most important thing to keep in mind with running is cross training. You can pick your poison (or sweet). I used to kick box for years. Biked a bit. Played basketball for years. But really, the most sensible option is swimming, no doubt about it. What does cross training do for you? Simple. Prevent injury. And keep you real.

Of course the child being such a water baby is an important reason. I still remember my shame at having to be dragged back on to the boat during that scary snorkeling trip in the Maldives last year. That drives me. Now I also remember the super fun we had snorkeling in the Andamans recently, and remember that we want dive sometime this summer. "You don't need to really know to swim to snorkel" - sure that might be true. But my mind doesn't know that. It thinks I am going to drown & die the second I hit that nasty salty water. So I have to convince it that I can survive. Thats the main thing.

But despite all of this, today, I dropped her off and returned home and snuggled and slept. "My back hurts" I say to anyone that wants to ask me. It was hurting all day yesterday, and it feels a bit funny today. I plan to evaluate it later this evening with a workout. Or at least tomorrow morning with a run. Which leads me to believe that it was just an excuse this morning. Damn.

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