Friday, 25 February 2022

Swimming in the dam and pools

 In December last year, I got into the dark and warm water of the Garden Route Dam for some open water swimming. With a friend, we paddled around to a good spot, clocked some lengths and then paddled back. These were great outings.

Last month, via another friend, I heard about an open water swim at the dam with the local masters swimming club. I joined the group for a whip around the island and 'tower'. With tired arms and body after carrying boxes and furniture with my house move, I was happy to stick to one of the one-kilometre laps. It was just right.

I haven't done much swimming for many years. Back at university, I played underwater hockey and found myself in a pool 3-5 times a week. In 2002, I had a foot injury and I spent months aqua-jogging and swimming. I'd swim lengths and lengths and lengths. For some reason - perhaps winter? - I phased off the swimming and never really went back to it. 

My mom recently expressed an interest in swimming. Last week Friday, we joined the masters swimming club for a pool swim at a local school. I enjoyed it, mom enjoyed it and we were back the next day for a quick Saturday-afternoon session. It felt good to be in the water.

Mom joined me for a walk on Sunday afternoon and said it was the best walk she's had for months. I totally credit her swims to this as it loosens up the joints and muscles without any impact.

Swimming is an age-friendly activity. There are a number of swimmers here in their 70s and 80s. The one lady, at 84, competes in events. I'm friends with her son who says that she absolutely lives for the swimming. Last week, about to start a lap of backstroke, she told me that she only started swimming backstroke four years ago. She competes in five events and everyone said to her to do a 6th - so she now does backstroke too. 

Swimming is also an activity that mom and I can do 'together'. We go to the pool together and swim in lanes next to each other. I swim at my pace and she swims at hers. It works for us both.

We're swimming again this afternoon and we're both looking forward to it.

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