My boys are back in swimming lessons and so I signed up at the Y today to swim laps on a regular basis. It's something that I used to do. When I was in the Army (late 80's), I swam 1 to 2 miles a day. My pace was about 50 seconds per lap, so I would finish a mile in about 30 minutes. Fairly average.
Fast forward over 15 years, I haven't swum at all since 1999. Part of it is self-consciousness. I don't look good in a swim trunks.
But the other parts are laziness and rationalization. Swimming well is hard work. It's a total body workout. When I'm accustomed to swimming, it's invigorating. When I'm not, I'm lethargic after I finish.
And water activity doesn't burn fat like land activity, so I rationalize it and say, "Gosh, you could do other things..." Now, I bike and walk on a regular basis, so gee, shouldn't I do that instead? But today I really wanted to get back into the water. So I did.
After the boys' swim lessons, I took them to a sports store (No, Jacob, we're not buying a remote control submarine for your time in the pool at swimming lessons... Austin, put the football down. Um, I meant set it down, not spike it...) and I bought goggles for all of us. Later, the boys went home with their mom. Lap swim at 4 PM...
I went to the facility in the late afternoon and walked out to the pool. It was kind of cool to step back into the water after all this time. I stretched a bit and then started off. I managed to do 5 laps straight with no problem. 36 laps is a mile.
Knowing that this was my first time back at it in quite a while, I had to stagger my laps with a 30-second break every couple of laps.
But here's the thing... it felt good. It's funny how the body remembers exercise. There's this "Oh yeah, THIS! Woo hoo - we remember this!" your muscles say out loud and then really get into it. 18 laps later, and 30 minutes later, I was spent. I'm nowhere near my former self, but it felt good.
My immediate goals are to get down to 300 pounds and to get to where I can swim a mile straight out with no breaks, both by the end of September. I don't care how long it takes right now - speed can come later. But the goals are do-able. The swimming will be a good replacement for bicycling over the winter, so I'll be interested to see where I end up at the end of next spring.
Hopefully, I won't hear myself singing "Baby Beluga" in my head by that time...