It’s not about bikinis, costumes and swimming trunks. It’s above all that. I was not even one when I first entered the pool. My father used to put me on his back and swim. My dad is a champion swimmer but he says mum swims better than him. I think they both are amazing. I’ve been swimming ever since, 22 years to be exact. Over the years I got to know that my eyes are not fit for the chlorinated water and that’s how I developed this whole way of getting ready to go to the pool. Cap- check, Goggles- check, costume- of course check and in you go. I can smell the pool from a distance, it’s my drug, and it’s my way of escaping. One song is all you need to play in your mind and bam you are in the underwater world with no outside noise to trouble you. Parallel universe if some might like to call it.
Exercise is just the first plus point. Let’s start!
Exercise: Swimming is an excellent way to work out, the whole body is moving, and it keeps you fit. Builds your stamina and you’ll see the difference very soon. You start once and then you want to go again. Of course when you are in the pool you don’t want to come out.
Games: There are so many things apart from just swimming. One can always play games, and then of course there is the synchronized dancing in the water. Fond of dancing, want to do it in water? Go ahead! There is water polo, hide and seek and then there are different styles of jumping and diving that you can enjoy. You get to do it in cold water during summers. What else do you want?
Meeting new people: half the times you’ll find like-minded people who come to swim, they all love the water, they love to stay underwater and don’t plan to come out if they had the choice. So if you are a water baby you might just make friends for life at the pool. Do keep a lookout for bullies though and report them to the lifeguard. People, who have weak eyesight like me, find it clearer to be in water, it’s magical. Though tiny kids look like tadpoles scampering here and there.
Float: Because this is the life. If you don’t know how to float even if you know how to swim, well that’s plain sad. Go try it out right away. Floating is peaceful, it’s like a meditation in its own right. No noise cancelling headphones required. Its serenity to be just suspended, no hard ground in contact.
Life –Skill: Swimming is a life skill, nothing better if you can save a life with your skill. I have never had the chance as yet. I don’t want anyone to drown as such but yes if and ever I encounter such a thing, I am ready. There is nothing better than passing on a skill, to as many people as you can. Teach anyone and everyone and tell them to pass it on. The best way to teach someone to swim is to tell them to go to the deep end and fend for themselves, their instinct will help them. Your instinct is your best friend. The correct method can always be showed later. But the basic steps need to come first. Breathing right is also a must, you might feel you can swim for a long time without coming out but that’s not right. You need to come out often otherwise the lactic acid gets you and you become tired sooner. To get the maximum out of this is to breathe right.
Don’t sham because there is no pool close to your place, there will definitely be a lake or something of that sort close to your place. If you are trying it out for the first time, don’t make it a suicide mission and take someone elder to you along.
PS: This post is not a 101 on Swimming; it’s just about the joys of swimming. If you want to learn it you have to go the pool, don’t start watching Youtube videos or reading e-books on HOW-TO. Go try and tick it off your bucket list. I am sure a lot of you have it there.
*Credits for the artwork in the “Orange Cap” above goes to Lynn Howarth from www.artfinder.com . I would also like to add this little description she adds to this piece – “It was created for a summer exhibition here in Glasgow to celebrate the Commonwealth Games 2014. I have alwasys wanted to be able to swim like this but have a deep seated fear of going under water! Id like to think that doing this series is helping me living vicariously through my friends who love open water swimming.”
This image best described the way I generally go for swimming.