March 22, 2013
On It’s in the Bag, I told you about a time-saving security tip I use at the pool.
Now, some of you curious types might be wondering what I have in that bag.
If you really want to know – my ear plugs, goggles, bathing cap, scalp massager, scrub puff, liquid soap, shampoo and conditioner.
Since I don’t take my glasses out to the pool deck, I have trouble reading small print. I’ve devised a system that ensures I use the correct product in the right order, in the right place.
I write a giant S on the mini shampoo bottle, and a C on the conditioner bottle. I’ve further refined this by changing to two different shapes of bottles. As a result, I don’t even have to look when I reach my hand into the bag. I know which one is which, simply by feeling the shape of the bottle.
Systems work. Systems keep your life organized. Systems save time and energy. A bonus for anyone living with a chronic illness.
August 5, 2012
As a former competitive swimmer, swimming instructor and lifeguard, I know how to do all the swimming strokes, plus some synchronized swimming moves and diving—off the diving board, that is.
As time marched on, I’ve had to contend with that monster – the ego. I know it’s surfaced when I catch myself saying things like “I could dive before,” or “I was able to do a half-decent butterfly stroke,” or “They must think I can’t swim very well.”
By being able to recognize that strident voice, I am able to redirect it; it’s now softer, kinder and more compassionate. It’s led me to acceptance. It’s rewarding myself for what I can still do, even with arms, legs and a neck that don’t work the way they once did.
The breast stroke is definitely off the “Lengths List” because of the torque that occurs when doing the Whip Kick. The front crawl is a sometimes stroke – at times, bilateral breathing is challenging on my fused neck. The back stroke is pretty easy to do, as is the sidestroke.
When swimming, or doing any exercise, listen to what your body tells you. Sometimes, your brain may be nagging you to quit, when there is no reason for it. Other times, your ego may push you further than is wise and you pay the price. One of our lessons is to learn to decipher the difference.
June 23, 2012
Image courtesy of Richard Dudley
Recently, I’ve been dipping my toes in a few different pools. I’m amazed at how different the amount of chlorination is from facility to facility.
If you are not swimming because you are bothered by the chlorine, do try to visit a different pool.
You may be surprised to notice that not all pools are created equal.
In fact, some of the newer pools aren’t even using chlorine anymore. That’s refreshing and much welcomed advancement.
May 24, 2012
My husband, dog and I were at the beach. It was fun to watch our dog run back and forth in the shallows, then bite at each wave as it gently collapsed on shore.
I work hard to walk as well as I can, so when I later looked at the video of us on the beach, I was shocked to see how much I actually limped.
Admittedly, I am much more graceful in the water. My years of competitive swimming, lifeguard training and instructor training have made me comfortable in the water; it is a place to play, to let the water support and energize me.
Water is a great non-weight-bearing way to exercise. Just being in the water is a wonderful way to forget that you may not move as smoothly as you’d like on dry-land. Plus, spending some time in the water allows you to limber up, resulting in a little more graceful movement on terra firma.
Image courtesy of Pierre Amerlynck.