Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I've made sense of my mild aversion to those darlings of the wedding world, the String of Fabric Triangles ("bunting"). They're backstroke flags! Those vinyl flags in primary colors that give the racing backstroke swimmer a heads-up to flip over so you can turn, already.

Before I trained myself to like running last summer, swimming was the only form of exercise I found enjoyable. I swam competitively from 5th grade through 10th grade, and by competitively, I mean that I was technically racing against other swimmers. Let's just say, I was not so terrible that it seemed like it would be less embarrassing for everyone if I would just quit, but I also wasn't making it to any regional or state meets. Just sort of a middleweight swimmer, I would spend those quiet hours in the warm poolwater four days a week scripting entire imaginary telenovellas featuring my friends and dudes we liked seeing Less Than Jake or whatever band play together. Aww.

I bought a membership to the downtown YMCA yesterday. Swimming for fitness as a grown-up is more complicated - there's equipment, packing a bag so you can shower away from home, observing pool hours, paying for pool access, circumnavigating the certain fleet of elderly kickboarders moving at a glacial pace. Up until May I was paying for a pool-less gym membership at a facility near my old place, and it seemed silly to also pay to swim somewhere. And the two lane lines at the city pool are always congested to the point where you absolutely cannot get your heart rate up.

Today there will be swimming! In a suit I think is from high school. That might be nearly see-through from wear. That might also not....completely...contain my butt. Sorry, old people.


  1. Ha! I love swimming for exercise but not alone. I think this is a function of growing up on a swim team, I find it hard to train (for anything really) on my own. In New York there's an adult master's class which is basically just grown ups pretending they are on a swim team together. I keep meaning to go but I haven't. At this point I actually don't own a 1 piece. Oy!

  2. Fancy! I also did my bit of "competitive swimming" as a childhood, which made for a sweet professional-type sport photo of my sister and i in matching suits at the oh so awkward ages of like, 11 and 12. i could only ever backstroke and breaststroke in any sort of functional way. i am not a swimming lady. tell me how the downtown y is-i've always wondered what it's like in there!

  3. @ashley Downtown Y is cool! I prefer working out in a weird old historic building than most weird overly plastic-y gyms. I am paying way more than my old (comically cheap) gym - but it includes lots of classes, the pool, towels, etc. I am basically paying for its convenience because I won't go to a gym that isn't nearby, ha.