Get in, the water’s fine!

If you haven’t heard (or read on Facebook), I’ve taken up swimming again. I say again – I’ve been swimming off and on since I was about 7 or 8 years old. I’ve been a lifeguard at Schlitterbahn as well as certified in SCUBA. I love being in and around water (but not so much on top of it, like water skiing). Last spring, I had this…urge? desire? hunger? for swim time. I don’t quite know what brought it on but I just had to swim. I joined a gym and got to swimming. A few days after I joined, my friend Catrina said she couldn’t do the entire Danskin after fracturing a bone in her left arm so I offered to be her relay swimmer and got to really swimming. I did the Danskin swim successfully (and with not bad of a time for only 2 weeks of training) and I’ve kept on swimming since.

When we went to Hawaii, I couldn’t wait to get in the water. Swimming at the North Shore was just amazing. I jetted right through the water with ease, thanks to the boyancy of the ocean. When we snorkled at Hanauma Bay, I kept getting water in my mask because I couldn’t stop smiling. When you wear a full mask and smile, your raised cheek bones breaks can cause whatever seal you have on your face to open…and I kept having little puddles of water in my mask. It was heavenly!

If you keep up with my Facebook, you see that I’ve been swimming regularly at Lake Pflugerville. Yes, Pflugerville has a man made lake and it’s been there for about 3 years or so. The water feeds into the treatment plant they have that serves P-ville with their water supply so if you go, don’t pee in the lake, okay? 😉 I’ve only been out there a handful of times but when I go, it’s always a nice swim. Over by the dam, there are a series of bouyes fixed to balloons (or something like balloons) that indicate a swimming path. I go out to the first blue bouy and back and that’s 500 meters. The first time I swam that, I did in around 25-27 minutes. Yesterday (Thursday, August 13) morning, I swam that 500 meters in about 20-22 minutes. I’m not too big on timing myself, except that I am a bit curious as to seeing how accurate my internal clock is as I’m doing an activity in which I’m engaged in something other than watching the clock. Anywho, I’m fairly excited that I have done some time cutting without even thinking about it! I just wanted a nice, easy swim when I went out there.

With this new/old hobby must come new gadgets. I mean, I am still me and I LOVE new gadgets!! First, I found a swim cap I can deal with. I was made to wear one as a kid once and absolutely HATED it. And the one they gave me (and made me wear) at Danskin wasn’t that great, either. But I do like how a cap keeps my hair from falling in my face as I swim (mostly freestyle) so I started asking and looking around at different types of caps. I found that I can deal with a Silicone cap and found one that is multi-colored. I was also having trouble keeping up with what lap I was on while at the gym, since I get to just thinking about random stuff when I swim, so I found a little lap counter that fits on my finger. I think my next purchase will be a waterproof housing for my iPod Shuffle and the underwater headphones. It all gets pretty pricey when you start getting all the equipment you’d want – why not just get an underwater MP3 player that comes with headphones? That would be one more thing to think about playlists for. I’m really not that great at putting together playlists I fully like. Thank goodness for iTunes Genius! (but that’s another story for another day). I am also seeing that Garmin has a lightweight, waterproof GPS system now in their Foretrex 101 & 201. It even helped certify a new world record in surfing. Not sure how that can help my personal swim thing but it’s a fun looking gadget!

I do have to say that I’m glad Lane Four Swim Shop is in North Austin. At first, I was worried they’d have their prices way jacked up, being a specialty store in town, but when I stopped by there, they were fairly helpful and the prices were about the same as various online stores. I might have been happier with a little more personalized attention, being as I’m kinda new again to the activity and have lots of questions, but there were several other people in the store and I heard talk about large dollar purchases (caps for an entire race and team equipment type conversation) so I would set me and my $40 purchase aside a bit, too!

Anywho, I’m just really at peace when I’m swimming. I’m glad to have the ability and venue to be able to do it because it really does help make me be a happier person. As Jeff always says after I talk about a swim, “she’s hooked”. If you’re in the North Austin area and want to come swim at Lake Pflugerville with me, let me know and we’ll go! I’m always looking for a swim buddy. Or, if you want to go there to do the running course while I swim, I’m up for that, too.

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