Swimming Without Lenses

One of my goals for 2015 is to obtain my life guard certification. In order to achieve this, I felt it best to improve my endurance in the water. I have what many people may consider an active exercise routine(1 hour minimum, 6-7 days per week), but swimming becomes a different challenge for me. I want to assure I’m at my best so I set myself up to train several days a week where I gradually increase my distance each week.

With all the obstacles I face in swimming- such as swimming on an exhausted body or walking 2 miles in below 0 weather to get to the pool- none has been more prevalent than the gear. You see, while I have been in swimming classes since I was young, I never trained to go for distance or speed. Swimming gear was such a foreign concept to me I had to Google the proper way to wear a nose clip. Although, the most troubling gear has always been the goggles.

I use to swim with a pair of nonadjustable pair of goggles I had since grade school. While the goggles did stay, I found that water will still find a way into my eyes. I decided to save a bit of money and buy the best pair of goggles I could find at my local sporting goods store. The goggles had a lot of nifty little features printed on the box, including “Anti-Fog” and “Immune to explosions”. As you can imagine, I was excited to try these out.

So today I went to the pool to try out my new goggles. As expected, it felt a little too snug on my face. I spent a good 10 minutes trying to adjust, fit, and test my goggles. After the twentieth some adjustment, the plastic bit snapped off. The goggles were not only nonadjustable, but could not even be worn at all. I was disappointed, not only because I was out a $30 pair of goggles, but because it made it that much harder to train freestyle.

Still, determined, I tried to do my first set without the goggles. I closed my eyes to avoid the stinging of chlorine,but I immediately hit the divider of the lane. I knew that freestyle could no longer be practice, and plan for today’s sets had to be discarded. After a bit of debate I settled to switch my sets to involve doing my least favorite stroke, the back stroke. I never really enjoyed the stroke, simply because of how sore I get from doing it. I always have the impulsiveness to be tense up and go fast when doing a backstroke. While this is okay for me doing a 100m cool down, it was not ideal for a 1000m swimming workout.

I went at it, and quickly felt myself tense up. I tried to relax but that only caused me to want to push myself harder. By the half way mark my body was experiencing soreness. Luckily enough, I was able to find a quick-fix for my goggles. Unluckily though, I learned that out of the features it claimed to have, “Anti-Fog” was certainly not one of them. I completed my entire workout on sore arms limbs and cooled down with a bit more of the free style. Walking on my legs felt like jello but I was happy that I completed the workout.

My takeaway from this experience. Firstly, I definitely need to improve my backstroke. Out of all the strokes, this one is the only one I can never do in a relaxed state and today has shown how much of a problem that can be. Secondly, I’m always going to bring a spare set of goggles. If it’s one thing I learned, there’s no telling when my goggles are going to bust on me. There’s no telling if one of those times is when I do need them.

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