18 December 2008

Shiver and Bear It

. . . because there's nothing worth grinning about. I'm back in the pool in earnest now. The weather is conspiring to keep most of us, the smarter ones who want to live to see next year, out of the ocean. I for one think it's still dirty out there. There is no way I can justify paddling out yet. I'd rather wait.

In the meantime, I've spent some days in the water. This is surprising. Once I did those two oceans swims in October, I was ruined. I wanted nothing more to do with the pool and its damn lane lines, walls and gabby swimmers. I'm finally at the point where I'm happy to be back in the pool. If it's going to keep my surfing muscles in shape, I'll swim as much as I have to. The only problem is, dammit, I'm cold. Sometimes it's the pool. Other times it's the showers. The indoor pool in my neighborhood, the one I normally frequent, seems never to have any hot water in the showers. With the cold weather we're having in L.A., this is no longer amusing. This pool is also filled with folks who want to talk. They often want to talk to me. It's not that I'm anti-social. I just don't like to do too much talking when I'm working out. The other pool I visit is beautiful. It was renovated last year. The locker room always has hot water. The showers sport a dispenser with body shampoo and there's a blower for drying one's hair. Love all of it! The only problem with this pool is the whole outdoor thing it's got going on. A friend and I talked each other into meeting there today. I swear I stayed cold even when I was swimming. (I'm such a wimp. I don't deny it.)

Why do I do it if all I'm going to do is complain? Well, the pool helps. I feel good. My surf muscles won't need to be reawakened when I get back on a surfboard and the surf mat. My back muscles are all kinds of sore. It think it was from doing the breaststroke (my best stroke) and the butterfly (my worst stroke). I get bored doing only freestyle. I need to mix it up in the pool. The lifeguard at the neighborhood pool made me swim butterfly yesterday. He's the one who'd been teaching me the stroke before the summer, when I hurt my knee and when he was temporarily transferred to another pool. I hadn't even attempted it in months. For some reason, I swim it better now than I did when I was constantly working on the stroke. I don't know why that is. Anyway, all of this swimming is making my surfing muscles even stronger. I'll be able to hit the ground running when I paddle out again.


At 12/19/08, 12:36 AM, Blogger Worm said...

maybe you should look into getting a wettie vest (to get a cheap one check out water ski companies like jet pilot). it leaves your arms open to stroke any way you like and keeps you a warm (but not too warm like wearing a rashie would do).

At 12/19/08, 9:13 AM, Anonymous PG said...

I used to swim in a pool during the winter with a short john wetsuit all the time. Makes a huge difference.

Also, you can swim a few laps every day with your swim fins on to get in shape for mat riding.

At 12/19/08, 9:44 AM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Both of you have come up with good ideas.

PG, I've been really working on the kickboard because of the mat. I will soon begin taking my fins. First I had to get my legs accustomed to doing more of the work in the pool. I feel like I'm ready to add the fins into the equation.

At 12/19/08, 9:58 AM, Anonymous PG said...

Another way you can get in shape with fins in the pool is to swim laps on your back and only kick. It's much easier to breath than swimming with fins in the normal breast stroke position.

Of course, the kickboard is the best way to work out with fins.

At 12/19/08, 11:12 AM, Blogger clayfin said...

the last time I did winter swims outdoors my head never warmed up completely, but it was around 40 degrees outside. Do you wear a cap? Go full on geek and wear a surfing hood! I surf with one of the owners of Zoot, they make swim specific neoprene, maybe check them out.

I swam this morning (indoors - with adjacent jacuzzi, steam, sauna, and hot showers!) but I forgot my fins. I did some laps with the kickboard and man, it is hard to get any speed. I think it's an even better workout than with fins.

At 12/19/08, 11:35 AM, Blogger dgm said...

I second the notion of swimming in a short john. I did it several winters ago and it made a huge difference.

Also "hit the ground running when I paddle out again"--haha!


Post a Comment

<< Home