When I was a kid, I was on the swim team at the local private pool. I participated every summer for several years. By the end, I was eager to quit: eager to sleep in on my summer days, and enjoy being lazy. But my parents made me stick it out that last year -- you know, finishing what I had started, and all. Of course in hindsight I'm glad they did it.
I was a pretty good swimmer. Backstroke was my best event, and I won first place more than a few times. I was also pretty good at freestyle. It helped that I was the tallest person in my age bracket, with long arms, so my strokes were generally longer than my competition.
I've gone swimming plenty since my youth, but never for more than just splashing and goofing off with friends or family. Never competition swimming. Never laps.
Carina and I purchased memberships to the OSU RPAC (which also gives us access to the Adventure Recreation Center, with their climbing wall), and have been making an earnest effort to use these memberships to get into better shape. I've been woefully sedentary these last few years, and it's starting to take a real toll, in terms of my expanding tummy, and my decreased energy. Carina jogs, or uses the various treadmills or exercise bikes, and I swim.
The first time I went, it was a monumental struggle to swim five continuous laps. I was appalled at how out of shape I truly was (and still am). I've been slowly increasing the number of laps I swim each time, and it's slowly beginning to pay off. I'm still a long way from being fit in any real sense of the word, but I'm making progress, and I plan to stick with it. I'm looking forward to the summer months, when I'll be able to ride my bike to the facility, swim for a bit, and then bike home.
And of course, I'm looking forward to more time at the climbing wall. I'm surprised how fun climbing is (and how physically exhausting it is)! I'll need to take a two hour course to learn how to belay properly, so that I can take the kids climbing and not be completely dependent on the facility staff to belay for us. The place gets busy during family hours when the kids get in for free, and we can spend considerable time waiting for a staff member to get around to belaying us.
In completely unrelated news, I bought this shirt today.