And in the summertime there’s no excuse for not doing so.
Back to work from holiday on Wednesday, after a short shake-down, I got back into the swings of things in the corporate world. Working in front of a computer and sitting in the same position a few hours a day is hardly ever conducive to keeping fit. Sitting in the same position on the first day turned out to be tiresome for me, and on my way back home I somehow remembered I have a card (also paid by my employer) that enables me to enter thousands of sport centres all across Poland, so why not use it… After sorting out things with the card (first one came with a spelling error in my surname, therefore invalid, had to be replaced) it was a sin to keep it unused for two months in a wallet. Financial incentive proved to be the best incentive…
I decided it would be nice to return to swimming. I used to swim a lot back in times of middle school, but at the age of 15 I was forced to give it up due to circumstances beyond my control, what in simple words means I had a severe allergy to chlorine (added to water in swimming pools for… yes, maybe you know for what reasons?) – my whole back and face were covered with rash and seared. I tried to return to swimming in pools two times and allergy relapsed. So from the beginning of my studies I would only swim in lakes during holidays, last time in July 2009. But after all, why not give it one more try? In the worst case the skin would sear for three of four days and then the pain would be gone.
I decided the best facility to visit would be the town sports centre in Piaseczno (a partner of an issuer of my card) where I can use the swimming pool totally for free. I chose to go there early on Saturday in the morning, to avoid droves of people that turn up there as soon as small hours are over. I arrived there at 6:50 a.m. and at that, for many, ungodly hour six tracks of the pool were occupied by some eight people, so I had one track for myself. The facilities haven’t changed much since the times when I used it often (and lived 50 metres from there). I swam for forty five minutes. Upon covering the distance of 150 metres I felt my heart and lungs were telling me I wasn’t fit enough. Unabashed, I carried on and, to my surprise, after swimming over one kilometre I felt much better than after 150 metres. As I was leaving, there were even fewer people around than the time I was coming in.
Until now the allergy has not made itself felt (may farewell to it be ultimate), I didn’t forget how ‘one does it’, just like in the case of cycling, swimming is a skill one doesn’t forget, just at the beginning I had some minor problems synchronising all body movement and breathing in air above water and breathing it out under water.
As I walked back home the dearth of people in the swimming pool reminded me of game theory. I wondered how many people would have to think ‘I’ll come earlier because there’ll be fewer people’ to throng the place. Apparently the temptation to sleep early on Saturday morning is much stronger than the desire to enjoy swimming without shouting children and teenagers and having to share a track with a few other people… Most people go for sleeping.
Swimming a sport has some advantages that have to be underlined:
1. you can’t get sweat,
2. most muscles work when you do it,
3. you can easily keep fit, or bring youself back fit, without running risk of overstretching yourself,
4. doesn’t require high financial outlays – of course not everyone can go to a swimming pool for free, but charges aren’t that high (ask me how much an hour costs and I’ll plead my ignorance), but compare it to skiing,
5. you can do it all year round, although in the winter when you wear a lot and have to dry your hair carefully it is a bit of a nuisance,
6. is an alternative to gym (but slower) method of body building .
Later yesterday I tidied up the garden after recent rainfalls and washed the car, so I had a very reasonable dose of physical exercise. Today in the morning I felt a bit sore thighs, arms and nape, but now the ache is gone. I planned cycling around 15 kilometres today in the morning, but the weather has put me off. Around 8:30 a.m. it was damn hot (some +25C) and air was terribly humid. I was soaking with sweat before putting my backside on the saddle, so the trip was assigned the “put back” status. As it turned out later, morning was the time when the chance to cycle could be taken. After 10:00 a.m. stormclouds set in from the west and around 11:00 a.m. rain lashed down. Clement weather doesn’t wish to come back today, but may it come the next weekend – I’d be glad to see sunshine and warmth (around +20C, no more than +25C in the warmest moment of the day).