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A friend of mine invited me to go to the local pool with her to lap swim. I quickly agreed! It had been years since I’d been. I’ve been poolside mind you, but mostly to cool off or sunbathe. I grew up on a lake and spent my summers swimming so I was confident.

Before we went into the building we sat in the car and talked strategy. She graciously described the lingo. Down and back is a lap, she said. Or about 50 meters. We’ll do 200 meters of freestyle swimming to warm up (no biggie, I thought). We’ll do 50 meters with a kick board, 50 with a (what was that called…a floatie?) using only our arms and then 100 meters of …(I don’t know…something else). My mind drifted a little; I was ready to swim. I knew I wouldn’t be speedy, but I could do this stuff.

I borrowed a proper suit and goggles (this should have been my first clue). We got into the water and started freestyle swimming. She swam strongly, pulling herself effortlessly through the water. I was in the lane next to her. I felt good for the first 25 meters and then I started feeling winded. She reached the end and did one of those cool turns where you push your feet off the wall and kept going. I went vertical to stand up only to find the water was deep at that end. Now paddling like a third grader, I reached the edge and grabbed on, lifting my head out of the water and breathing hard. She was already half way back to the start. Okaayy…I thought. Here’s a little reality check.

I continued to swim slowly back and forth doing the various options (grateful for the support of a kickboard and floatie thing during those laps). The swimming was really wonderful exercise and I loved being in the water again. (I am a true Pisces.) She was encouraging and I was truly humbled.

It’s so funny how my self-image still throws back to 20 years ago. Guess it’s time to download the software updates and be working from the latest version (even though that’s not always the version I prefer!). Still, the swimming was great and the social support was (yet again) exactly what I needed to try a new type of training. Maybe next week I’ll learn that fancy turn thing and make it 50 meters before running out of breath!

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