After ballooning up to an unacceptable weight I decided a few months back to start working out. I began with some light jogging and then slowly worked my way up to running 30-45 minutes a day. I lost about 15 pounds but before long I began to feel pain in my right knee. I had injured my left knee a few years ago so I decided not to tempt fate and started using the elliptical machine. Two weeks later the same knee began to hurt. So, I took some time off and tried out the stationary bicycle. Again, no luck there. This week was so bad I could barely walk around the house. So, out of desperation for at least some kind of cardio workout, I decided that I would start swimming. I've heard it's easier on the joints but that it's not as great of a workout. Oh well, an easy workout isn't so bad every once in a while.
(Side bar...sorry to all 2 of my loyal blog readers for taking a long break from blogging. This is not a comeback but I needed to get this out)
So, I woke up this morning and headed off to the pool. I had read online that high school swimmers usually swam 60-90 minutes a day (uh...no thanks) but that 30 minutes in the pool would be a good workout. That sounded very manageable. Here is how things worked out:
9:24 am .... 4 swimming lanes and I take the only open one. I jump in the water. DAMMIT THAT IS COLD! Compose myself. 30 minutes probably means 35-45 laps. Hell, I don't know how many laps it is. I just need to start.
9:24:06 .... My wedding ring nearly falls off. I can just see explaining that to the wife: Sorry honey, I got up early in the morning to workout and my ring fell out at the local pool. Followed by a slap in the face and her leaving me. Better put the ring back in my locker.
9:25 .... Son of a bitch! Someone stole my lane - didn't you see me complete 1/10th of a lap earlier? Whatever loser. I'll just sit here freezing my ass off like a moron hoping for a lane to open up.
9:28 .... Bingo. A lane opens up next to an old lady. I mean prehistoric old. She's not even swimming. I guess you could call it waddling like a duck. I take off in my lane and about halfway to the other side I catch up to her. See ya grandma! I touch the wall. Is that one lap or half of a lap? Easy call. One lap. I'm juicing up my numbers without steroids.
Time to swim back. This is actually very nice. The water isn't as cold as I originally thought and swimming IS easier on my joints. 2 laps down.
During the 3rd lap something strange happens. I feel like an angry team of dwarfs are continually pissing in my eyes. I have to close my eyes for half of the lap due to the stinging. 3 laps down.
Short 3 second rest. Lap 4 begins. I only bang my head twice on the side of the pool due to swimming blind for most of the lap. On the bright side, I've gotten used to the persistent stinging in my eyes.
Lap 5 starts the shoulder fatigue. No worries. To combat my burning shoulders I just kick my legs more wildly as if I'm having a panic attack. 30 second rest after lap 5.
If I ever doubted that I had a heart I don't anymore. It's pumping out blood like never before. I'd guess a heart rate of 180 at this point. 1 minute break after lap 6.
Lap 7 starts off nice because of the 1 minute break but by the halfway point I'm about to throw up. My breathing has completely broken down. Instead of taking a breath every fourth stroke I'm gasping for air any chance I get. I actually use the side of the pool 3/4ths of the way down to get me to the wall.
Lap 8: Grandma is smirking at me as she blazes past me. Bitch. I touch the bottom of the pool several times before reaching the wall. At this point my head is literally bleeding from scraping the wall multiple times.
I glance up at the clock before Lap 9 except I can't see the clock because my eyes are full of mace. I half-heartedly try to breaststroke before I feel as if my chest is about to explode. I'm forced to stop in the middle of the lane which is 5 and a half feet deep. I nearly drown despite being 5 foot 7. I'm taking large gulps of disgusting pool water as I cling to the wall.
I decide that 10 laps is the extent of today's journey. I'd call it quits at 9 except my towel is at the other end of the pool and there is no way in hell I can pull myself out of the water without stairs. At this point I believe a crowd has gathered either to mock me or to save me from drowning. Let's not discount both. I waddle to the other end of the pool only half as fast as Grandma from Hell in the lane next to me. She's purposely kicking water in my face. When I finally get to the wall I get out of the pool as calmly as I can for a guy who is taking in oxygen as if it's life or death (it is). Get one inch from the clock with my fire eyes and barely make out the time. 5:39:24. 11 minutes - 10 laps. Suck it Phelps.