tick tock


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 8×200@3.10 lcm bckstrke? I don’t think so, but I am afraid.

10 thoughts on “tick tock

  1. LoneSwimmer says:

    I am one of those swimmers:

    A laminate with a month’s workouts
    A large mesh ban containing: pull buoy, fins, power paddles, forearm paddles, anti-paddles, vaseline.
    A small mesh bag containing: goggle box, spare nose clip, spare goggle strap, ankle-band, finger paddles, ear-lugs (in case the aquarobics class is on), spare googles box, pen, tempo-trainer.

    And to think I once thought all I needed were goggs, hat and togs.

  2. Nicky says:

    See, I tend to pass the time thinking, ‘Why has woman got into the slow lane to swim front crawl’?

  3. Jeni says:

    I got into a frame of mind,last year,got fins..paddles..books..DVDs…and somthing just wasn’t working,then went for a swim,in theThames,the others took off,and just felt never going to be fast,my journey is a different one,I swam amongst the reeds,between the willows,watched the sunlight through the water,saw a kingfisher…and thats why I love swimming!

  4. Gords says:

    On those long continuous swims, I keep track by counting by 100’s: 50 = 6 months 100 = 1 year old, 2000 = 20 years old. 2050 = 20 1/2 years old….

    Then I just replay my life as I go in my head, reliving those good times, the first kiss, my trip to Australia, when I got engaged/married, had kids, got back into swimming, etc…. Keeps my mind awake as well as keeping track of how far I’ve gone. Kinda fun.

  5. Rebecca says:

    I am Soooo with you on this one mr ape!!!

  6. Alex says:

    I don’t have a problem remembering my length number even in 25m pool. And that lady keeping her hair dry (or whoever), use them to keep pace. If you lap them in eight lengths it will help with the counting, I feel more annoyed when they get out before I’ve finished using them!

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