I just spent two and a half hours in the pools at the Bribie Island Aquatic centre, run by Moreton Bay Council. Excellent place.
I did a concentrated 75 minutes of pool laps in the swimming lanes. I had aimed at completing 50 laps but lost count on the way. So I decided to swim for an hour. At the end of the hour, despite the ache in my shoulders, I was feeling good so I carried on for 15 minutes more. Yesterday I did only half an hour. Then I was alone in the pool but this morning I was joined by a few others. Having someone swimming in the next lane is a good incentive to keep going. My neighbours on either side were considerably faster than I, but they had the advantage of being able to do the Australian crawl. I can’t do that, because my left arm won’t behave, swimming overarm. Besides, I am not good at synchronising my breathing. I had to content myself with breaststroke.
I started out doing a length in just over a minute but had to slow down. I settled into a rhythm of 36 strokes a minute and averaging a length in a minute and a half. After an hour I was swimming a length in just under two and a half minutes. The swimmer on one side of me was powering along doing two and a half laps to every one of mine. But it wasn’t a competition. Except I kept swimming until I’d outlasted him.
My shoulders haven’t had this much exercise since I was camped at Inskip and swimming every afternoon. That was almost a year ago.
The water in the pool was a balmy 26C and after a while the ache in my shoulders became tolerable, almost pleasant in a satisfying ” I’m doing something” way.
After the swim, I joined a bunch of other elderly, overweight or crippled folk like myself in the warmer indoor therapy pool. There we exercised our knees, backs and other ailing joints enjoying the buoyant support of water at a pleasant 33 degrees.
Again I pushed myself for over an hour, and it seemed too easy. It was good to have a more sociable environment in which everyone had problems and seemed happy to chat and include a newcomer. That made it even easier to carry on.
But on exiting the pool and subjecting myself once again to the full force of gravity, I realised, rather acutely, that I had indeed been putting my muscles and joints through more effort than usual. Getting into my trousers was a little more difficult, giving me a hint of my future if I don’t keep this up and improve my fitness and mobility. Climbing into the Landcruiser was rather painful too, and I had to rest a bit before driving home.
My goal is to do this at least 5 days a week. I’ll know it is working when I can put my track pants on without nearly falling over.