Though my usual routine includes sweating on an elliptical machine daily I seem to have run out of socks lately due to my complete lack of interest in doing laundry. Therefore, I decided to be creative and do something different. But what? you might ask. Good question, gentle reader! Well, yoga was out, as I had neither the time nor motivation to head on over to the yoga studio here in not-New Haven and deal with the veiled hatred in the looks of the regularly attending yogis who can't deal with my intrusion into their healthy stupid flexible circles. So what was a healthy(ish) minded person to do? Well, the obvious choice. Go to the gym and go swimming.
Now, I used to be an excellent swimmer. I was on the swim team in high school! Though I once competed in this sport, something I think about and wince, I still look back on that dark and chlorine tinged time as a fairly positive one, and even having been made to do it for hours a day hasn't murdered my love of being in water. I've always been a water oriented person, which is useful because I'm also a huge struggle of a pyromaniac, and having water on hand has always been a great help to me. As a baby I loved the ocean, and to the day I look forward to a nice bath. So I didn't think it would be that hard to do a couple of laps in the Olympic size pool that not-Yale just has, lying around, like Fulbright Prizes. Oh how misguided I was.
For one thing, thought I do workout almost daily, anyone will tell you that swimming is some of the best exercise you can do. It's full body non-weight bearing strength, stamina and cardio training. This might be why I ended my laps breathing deeply with arms that felt like lead pipes. I mean, DAMN is that a workout. And apparently I was not the only one who felt this way. All of the people around me were moving slowly and taking breaks and mumbling...oh, wait, that's because they were all in their SEVENTIES. Yes. That's right. This was apparently geriatric hour here at the not-Yale swimming poll, and I was right in the middle of it. Swimming with the elderly, the Leah Franqui story. As I finished and prepared to get out of the pool, a contemplative looking older gentleman with a quiet demeanor, who looked at me gravely and said, "The hardest part is getting in". How right you are, sir, how right you are. OR the hardest part could be the actual swimming. I'm just saying.
As I walked down the street, glowing from my swim and the endorphins and contact high I had gained from being the only young person in a room full of very old people, I realized that people were looking at me oddly. Smiling it off, trying to remember that haters gonna hate, I strutted back to my room. Where I discovered that I had huge red rings around my eyes from my goggles. Of course I did. Isn't that perfect.
Drinking my tea this morning I realized that my hair still smells like chlorine. I really need to get some more socks.
Leah Franqui is a fairly interesting person/director/writer/reader/eater/drinker. She likes ugly dogs and dislikes her hair in the morning. She's a sucker for environmental causes and plays hardball with deals on chewing gum. She is a struggle.