Friday, September 14, 2012

My Most Recent Trip to the Pool

This is the second time I've made it to the pool since Baby A was born.

I used to swim in the mornings (both after J was born, back in IL, and while pregnant here in IA.)
But for now, night time works best for all of us.

I walked towards the building in the slightly-street-light-lit-up evening. Full of thoughts from my day: mostly antsy, fairly heart-achey thoughts. Thoughts I don't need to have, but I do. Thoughts about if that was the last time I'd be pregnant or not. (We haven't put a number on how many, so I don't know why I'm fixated.) There are moments where I can't fathom being done, and there are moments where I long for a little more adult-ness in my life and I don't know how to add in another baby.
I hate that if, that was the last time I was pregnant, I spent the entire pregnancy worried, overwhelmed and crying. I know I could not have done any better, I gave it my all. That was just how I felt facing everything. But I just hate the thought of that being the way I go out.
I keep telling myself, I have a two month old, why am I thinking any of this yet? But I am.

I walked towards the building feeling so light.... And not in a good way. In a: "Where is my baby?... Why isn't my belly swaying from side to side?... I'm here all alone.... I used to come here with her." I feel so conspicuous walking by the college kids. I'm sure I could easily pass as one, but I feel so strangely unlike them. I kind of want to turn around and run home. I feel kind of shaky.
I'm having separation anxiety.

I check in, walk down the stairs, and hear two guys coming up behind me, excitedly talking to each other on the way to the locker room. They aren't speaking English, something sort of German-like, but it doesn't really seem like German. They are loud and intense. It kinda of throws me even further into my emotional swirling. But I take a deep breath and tell myself, at least I only moved to Iowa, not another country, I'm still "home."

I get in the pool, happy to see the lanes aren't as full as last time. And that it looks like I will be amidst more experienced swimmers than last time. (It wasn't a fun lane to share, my first day back in the pool!)

My arms ache, from last time's exertion. The first five minutes feel like I'm really not gonna be able to swim today. But I keep going.
Another five minutes and they are still achey. "Man, this is hard."
But soon the ache just disappears.
Totally gone.

I played a little bit with the chubby guy sharing the lane with me and one other girl. He kept unnecessarily trying to pass me. (We were circle swimming, and he could have just spaced himself more appropriately and not needed to pass anyone.) Occasionally I was a snot and would speed up so he couldn't pass me until we got to the very end (then I slowed down so we didn't smash into each other.)
It was stupid of me, but it kinda entertained me, because I felt like he was trying to show off, and I didn't feel like giving him the satisfaction. (Plus it kinda gave me an ego boost thinking I could do that two months postpartum -- which was my little secret in the moment.)

I spent a lot of the first 15 minutes thinking about, how I am a thinker. And all my life I put so much value into my thoughts. But only recently have I come to start to kind of put them in their place. Life isn't all about thinking, its also just experiencing. And exercise really plays into that for me. I used to have no idea that even if you feel tired, but your mind feels antsy, the best way to burn off your excess thoughts, is to move. Somehow burning calories with your arms and legs, can spend a lot of the energy that's floating around in your head.

Then I spent the next 10 minutes putting those realizations to work --- sprinting down the lane as fast as I could, until I could feel the bottom of my lungs, hot and red. Panting at the end of the lane, just to get up and go again. Burning my body until I didn't feel burned. And feeling the clarity. Refreshed -- like when you refresh your internet page -- started over so it functions right.

At some point after that, during my cool down, I realized I seemed to be dragging a bit of my swim suit behind me -- clearly, it is still on. It feels totally normal on my skin. But apparently the outer fabric layer has (over the 4 months-ish break its taken) (I'm wearing my pregnant suit today --- Can't decide which looks and feels better at this stage) lost it's stretch. And now it is just sagging {A LOT} behind me. (This was not the case when I left my house.) I giggle to myself. "Apparently this Old Navy swim bottom wasn't really made for daily lap swimming." I keep swimming.

Then its time to get out. And I feel a little sheepish, wondering if the chubby guy, I showed up, is gonna see my suit's bottom -- which is quite literally sagging off my butt, to at least half way to my knees.
But I carry on giggling. Knowing that's the last time I'll be wearing those.


  1. During practices we usually would wear more than one suit because a drag adds more resistance - also saves money because two worn out suits aren't going to be see through! After awhile I would just rip and tie parts of the front together so it would be totally ridiculous. You might be able to find a tighter bottom suit but can have the top one be slightly looser for comfort.

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