I laughed out loud when I read http://thoughtcatalog.com/linnea-gregg/2014/01/37-things-only-swimmers-know/. Life long swimmers get a kick out of it. I’ve added my comments for new swimmers to be understand and relate to your experience with water exercise. My job as a Water Exercise Specialist is to introduce non-swimmers to the magical powers of water. You are welcome to be part of this world, and I’d like to make that easier for you.
1. There are always at least two things hanging up to dry somewhere in your house/apartment, and they are a swimsuit and a towel.
Mine hangs in the bathroom over the tub. When people come over and use the bathroom, I’m proud to show this hanging. When people see a wet bathing suit, they also get the thought process on taking up swimming too. Let’s share the love!
2. People frequently ask if you are tired because it looks like you have bags under your eyes. Those are just goggle marks.
Yes, this is true but there are now goggles that have a wide rim. I haven’t tested them out yet. After my swim, I go into a steam room or in the shower and massage my face as I sweat. That usually makes the mark disappear faster. It never lasts more than 30 minutes or so, less with my new method.
3. Literally every muscle in your body is used during your workout and it. feels. amazing.
This is the key selling point. I run occasionally and while I enjoy it (not love), muscles hurt the next day and I need to swim to make them feel good again!
4. When you’re underwater, the rest of the world gets blocked out. There’s only you, the movement of your body, and the freedom to let your mind wander.
I have done meditation on retreats, groups, myself but nothing like a swim truly let’s you let go.
5. … Despite the feeling of Zen you get from #4, on occasion you wish there were something to occupy your brain with as you swim. (Underwater iPod, anyone?)
For new swimmers there is too much to think about when improving your stroke. In fact, if you see me for stroke improvement you will be given tips to keep your mind focused on while you swim. Wait until you’ve got a perfect stroke before purchasing an underwater iPod.
6. But being truly alone with your thoughts can give you the opportunity to solve all of your problems, plan our your day down to the minute, discover the cure for cancer, etc.
Where you think I come up with all my blog post ideas!
7. You understand that swimming a mile is very, very different from running one.
This made me laugh. My partner is a runner and our post-workout talk involves, “I had planned on doing a 10km run but ended up doing 12km.” I respond with, “I did one mile but ended up doing 2 km.” One Mile in a 25 metre pool is 64 laps. One km is 40 laps.
8. The scent of chlorine never completely leaves your skin.
Again if you have access to a steam room or hot sauna, go in and sweat, then shower. This usually prevent the skin from getting damaged or smelling like chlorine. There are also saline pools. I’m a huge fan for investing in them. They will save money, (and the environment) in the long-term.
9. You have permanent tan lines, but they’re not the cool kind that you get from going on vacation.
No comment on this. Too pale!
Funny! There is also TYR and the U of T Athletic Centre has the best variety of ‘swimming’ bathing suits (not beach wear) for all body types that want to take up swimming (not lounging at the beach!).
11. Deciding to work out when you have a cold is worth at least five minutes of serious thought.
I’m sorry but I’ve been guilty of doing this and feeling temporary sinus relief. I know some readers will hate me now that I admitted that.
12. Abdominal muscles/strength are a point of pride.
Even more pride if you combine your water workout with Pilates! Did I mention I’m also a certified Pilates instructor?
13. There is one brand/style of goggles that you swear were made to fit your face perfectly.
Totally agree but I need a new pair and after 15 years of the same pair, I’m actually considering trying something new. Key word, considering.
14. Trying to get into your swimsuit when it’s still damp can almost take away your desire to work out. (Almost.)
Sometimes I have to do this a few times a day if I have water exercise clients at various times. I don’t mind it because the water is always easier to adjust to if you have a damp bathing suit.
15. “Fast,” “medium,” and “slow,” can be arbitrary labels for the lanes. When the pool is crowded one should try to follow these signs, but if it’s not – why waste an empty lane?
Yes, true but you should still read my lane etiquette entry: http://wholeself.ca/lane-swimming-etiquette/
16. You learned, the hard way, that you should never leave your swim cap somewhere that will heat up for an extended period of time.
True! Hanging or even stuffing cap with face towel prolongs its life. Also wash with soap after each swim.
17. … Because you actually use a swim cap.
Hint: It’s adds speed to your stroke.
18. There’s a fine, fine line between leaky goggles and a massive headache.
Leaky goggles can be a let down for a swim and I’ve been known to tighten so much that I end up with a headache. This is why we stick to the same brand if we found one that fits. Wash them with soap after each swim, this prolongs their life. At the end of their life, they tend to leak more as the rims harden.
19. Instead of 1, 2, 3, it’s 25, 50, 75…
This is for people whose goal is in the km/mile reach. Some people have a set time they aim for. If you’re looking to achieve a length, there is a bit of a different between 25 yards and 25 metre pools. 25 yard pool : 43 laps = 1 Km
20. Your cardio is also your strength training.
Yup. Aquafit is the best! Ask any of the participants that have been doing my class for almost 10 years!
21. “Going to the pool” or “going for a swim” means something different to you than it does to most people.
22. It’s only cold when you first jump in.
It’s true. People waste so much time worrying about that initial shock. Think about it as a needle at your doctor’s office. Take a deep breath, jump and swim. After a lap, you won’t notice the temperature.
23. Your hair stylist has uttered the phrase “Your hair is beautiful but it’s so damaged by all that chlorine.”
I find that washing my hair with vinegar and only shampooing it once a week has helped a lot.
24. Working out feels better when you can’t tell that you’re sweating.
True, unless you’re doing fast laps in a hot pool. This can be brutal and hard on your heart.
25. You have an opinion on circle swim vs. splitting the lane.
Always check with the lifeguard to find out how the lane swim works. Direction, Splitting etc.
26. The line “Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink” from The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner resonates with you on a spiritual level.
27. Baby powder exists so that the experience of pulling a silicone swim cap over your head doesn’t totally suck.
I have never needed baby powder and I’ve had really long hair. There’s a method that I’ll youtube one day…
28. You have to bite your tongue when a non-swimmer thinks they’d be pretty fast in the pool because they work out or have a significant amount of muscle mass.
It’s all about the physics of the stroke. The more strength, confidence and open-mindedness the faster you’ll catch on to becoming an efficient swimmer. Efficiency is more important than speed. Once you are efficient, you can work on speed…and improve your time in your next triathlon.
29. Sports-related injuries are an unfamiliar territory for you, because there is no stress placed on your bones or muscles during your workout.
True, if you’re new to the sport, but I haven’t met many swimmers that don’t have shoulder injuries from years of the same stroke. Me included.
30. You’ve planned your workout around strange and specific hours because the pool you use is only open or available at certain times.
Yes, and for people finding it hard to motivate themselves to workout, knowing a specific time you have for swimming will make you more committed to your workouts.
31. And a trip to the gym isn’t so simple, because all of the equipment, dressing, and undressing that you need to effectively complete your workout.
I don’t really agree. Summer is faster since I don’t need to blow dry my hair. Wet hair cools can keep you cool for an hour during a heatwaves! Once you get into a habit of swimming regularly, you get faster at getting ready. Consider renting a locker at your gym or getting towel service. These are small luxuries to regulars.
32. Swimming in a lane with a total stranger teaches you how to share…
Yup, some people are better than others.
33. … but you still prefer having your own lane. It is a rare and exciting luxury.
I hope you all get to experience this once in your life. It’s amazing!
34. There’s an art and etiquette to passing your lane partner, or being passed.
Yes, read more about this.
35. Passing or being passed also has the potential to make or break your mood during your workout.
If you’re learning to swim, the slow lane rarely has any aggressive passers. It’s fairly equal in the beginning to swim lane. The other lanes take some getting used to but if you get frustrated remember number 4 from this list.
36. You have regular lane partners or lane neighbors, but you may not necessarily know them by name. Still, you respect them and feel a connection based on the recognition of dedication.
You will make unique friendships with people in the pool. We inspire each other each meet up.
37. Land workouts are great, but there is nothing quite like the way your body feels after a swim.
Are you now convinced?