Observations From The Pool

Settling back in after our vacation to New York has meant lots of time poolside. A daily trip to the pool provides exercise, a dose of vitamin D, an opportunity to put down our devices, and lots of fabulous people watching. People watching is a such a gift in many ways. As with life in any small town, we've started to run into some familiar faces regularly at the pool. My favorite are the retired ladies that share a lap lane, floating along side by side, doing more chatting than swimming. After they've had enough of the water they retire to their lounge chairs in the shade and apply almond oil. They love good banter about the current political climate, sharing the latest photos of their grandchildren, naps in the sun, and a hardcover read checked out from the library. Their ease of conversation and joy together makes me long for those friendships that stand the test of time.

We can always count on a gaggle of teenage girls to arrive late afternoon and spread out in front of the brightly painted mural, more obsessed with taking selfies than actually going swimming. Lips pursed, hips turned, bust splayed, arms high, and SMILE the brown curly haired girl exclaims before snapping the photo. A photo checking conversation ensues. No wait, let's try again. Crap my eyes are closed and look at my chin, don't you dare post that. One more, please?!?! Then they go round and round on what filter to use and settling on a caption is hard work. Sitting back and observing their behavior is eye opening and definitely a good conversation starter. My daughters see how incredibly absurd it is to be unable to put a phone down for a few moments, when it's sweltering hot out and there is a refreshing pool just steps away. 

On a personal note, more trips to the pool has translated to a new found love of swimming for me. I find it hard to even say, but I've started swimming regularly. I really need to give a nod to my apple watch because I love the workout feature and tracking my session progress. I even completed a one mile lap swim in the past week. I enjoy the way my body moves through the water, how I can feel my muscles working against the resistance in a beautiful natural way, and best of all, I feel strong swimming. I've resisted the water for so many years; lingering repetition of the words I hate swimming my mother would say from the her towel next to the public pool, memories of wearing a nose plug as a child, feeling uncomfortable in a swimsuit in public, not believing I was a good swimmer. All this negative internal dialogue melts away when I observe the bubbles appear from my fingertips at the top of my stroke, how my head naturally turns out, and how much I simply enjoy the rhythm of the breast stroke. 

I have just a couple of weeks left of summer before I go back to work. I plan on spending them not only poolside, but strengthening my strokes. By the way, the photo featured in this post is of the Boulder Reservoir. Apparently, I spend too much time in the pool to take a photo (haha).