16/01/2013 by Carl Reynolds
I don’t have a poolmate. I try to keep count by repeating the number of each length (in a 50m pool) as a mantra. Inevitably like any meditator I think about something else, like “why has that woman got into the fast lane to swim head up breaststroke?” or “will the person in front of me become aware of my closing in on them and let me pass?”. So I lose count.
I adapted by thinking of the number and attaching a mnemonic. So one is myself, two is myself and Mrs Ape, three is a magic number, four is a square and so on. I only go to twenty and then start again. But again I lose count.
Now I get in and think – I’m going to swim for no more than one hour. I’ll chase a few people, focus on how smooth my stroke is and think about whatever passes through my mind. It’s easier.
I wonder if I’ll become one of those swimmers with a stack of swimming aids, bottles of feed and a sheet with a mass of numbers like 8×email@example.com lcm bckstrke? I don’t think so, but I am afraid.