aging · body image · fitness · Martha's Musings · meditation · swimming

Getting our fit on at all ages

Readers may remember I got back in the pool in late August. I’ve really been enjoying it. After three months, I’ve gotten to know the regulars and it’s been very interesting to see the range of ages and abilities.

There’s me of course, doggedly putting in my laps of the breast stroke and frog kick. I’m more about the meditative aspect of swimming than the speed but since my trainer and physiotherapist have seen the difference swimming makes to my mobility, I’ll keep on keeping on.

I haven’t seen the group since September but it is possible they are going at a different time. The group consisted of four or five women who hung out in the deep end chatting and doing their exercises. It got crowded from time to time but it was good to see friends work out together.

There are a couple of other women I see from times to time. One does laps like me; we nod politely as we pass. She likes to keep her head in the water whereas I don’t. I don’t see well without my glasses and filling my ears with water when I go under doesn’t help.

The other woman is probably 20 years older than I am and she is totally focused on her routine. Each day, she gathers her gear and arranges it at one end of the pool. She works through a series of strokes as she does her laps, some with her swimming tools and some without. She can go quite quickly and as I go through my laps, I sometimes think about how I can add speed to my swim.

But it doesn’t really matter how fast I go, or how slow, as the leisure/lane swim can accommodate my skill level just as it accommodated those of the other swimmers.

During the week, it’s adults in the pool in the early morning but on the weekend, there’s lots of small children, some taking lessons and some just getting comfortable in the water with their parents. I like the fact the kids will see all kinds of shapes, sizes, skills, and ages in the pool, especially women.

I’ve been thinking about taking lessons to vary my strokes so I can work different muscles and different parts of my body. For now though, it’s enough to show up. It is getting colder in the mornings and it’s not the brightest at 7 am but still we show up. We nod and smile; sometimes we chat idly about the weather. Almost always, we say “see you next time.” And we will, because we have found a place where we can get our fit on, without any judgement. If you want to just do it, our pool is the place to make that happen.

— Martha Muzychka is a writer and consultant who uses swimming to bring calm and powerlifting to build strength.

4 thoughts on “Getting our fit on at all ages

  1. You might want to look into getting prescription goggles. I haven’t done it (yet), but friends who have swear by them. They weren’t nearly as expensive as anticipated. I’ll probably get some for next summer because they will help me spot my destination when swimming outdoors. If nothing else, they will allow you to feel more comfortable putting your face into the water, relieving the pressure on your neck. Swimming is such a great sport – I’m glad you are enjoying it too.

    1. Thank you! I have an eye check in early winter so will ask about these then. It never occurred to me so thanks for bringing it up.

  2. Love this! If my knee issues keep up I may be joining you in the pool. For my mental health if nothing else.

    1. I wish I had seen that article about swimming and mental health yesterday. I really find it gives me the focus I need to manage my day. when I swim.

      Swimming has made such a difference to my knees Sam. I also take about 10 -15 minutes to walk against the current in the therapy pool and my knees feel better for it. Now I just have to figure out a way to deal with the cold. I may go back to leg warmers this winter!

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