I smell of chlorine. I have been swimming. Well, I have been to the public pool, and even though it is the school holidays here and it is normally manic at the pool during holidays, I have discovered a little hour of relative quiet.
How? Well, I have started going to the Over 50s swim session. And if you thought for one minute that you just get in the pool and swim, you have never been to an Over 50s session.
Neither had I, until last week, but, mindful of the instruction to do the hydro exercises at least 3 times a week, I thought I would check out the pool. I should have known what was coming when I battled to understand how the lockers worked, and there was a rush of people eager to show me how to make them work.
Anyway. I finally manage to sort myself out and head for the pool. I get in, clutching the pool noodle and the board I need for exercises, and immediately, people stop in the lanes and look at me and say..."Are you all right, dear?" "Yes, I am fine, I just need to do some exercises." So I wade into the water to the depth I need to be which happens to be up to my neck, plonk the bits on the side, and start jogging on the spot.
"Hello, dear, you are new, aren't you?" And I jog on, chatting to the lady who asked. "Yes, I am, I just need to do exercises." "Ooh - what sort do you do? Are they easy? I hate the gym." "Well, yes, they are quite simple, but I have a wonky knee and...." "Ooooh! GILES!!!!! This lady has a wonky knee!" And so help me, half the pool swims over to discuss knees and their wonky bits. I am now trying not to laugh hysterically, and they all want to know the details. I am very brief - "I hurt it turning too fast", I said. You have no idea how many assorted medical things I learned in all of 5 mins. And all the details. Bless them all.
After 5 mins or so, they resume their swimming. Meanwhile I have discovered that the bottom of the pool is shiny tile, and I slide everywhere so I look like a demented whale caught in a whirlpool as I try to do my hands-on-the-hips-turn-from-the-waist-back-and-forth-thingy. The feet go everywhere. I submerge. Spluttering and gasping, I pop up, and you got it, there are the other OVER 50s. "Are you all right, dear??" "Yes, I am fine, the bottom seems a little slippery though." "Oooooh, dear, you need some of those pool socks. Our Albert swears by them!". Hmmmm. I need pool socks?? Albert???
Well, after attempting to cross the pool, doing my lunges, and stopping every lane or so for a chat, as I slip and slide, they could have a point. Pool socks could well be in my future.
They are all very sweet there, I have to say. They all seem to know each other, and there is much laughter and chat. And they are very friendly too, so one definite requirement seems to be the ability to tread water for a long time, because the chatting tends to take place in the middle of the pool, and in my case, in the deep end. Still, treading water has to be good exercise, doesn't it?
And breast stroke seems to be the order of the day. That way the heads stay out of the water and the talk continues as you swim. I swear they could represent the country in formation swimming. They paddle down the pool in a synchronised way, and chat as they go. The earrings stay on, and the hair never gets wet, and they are all loving every minute. I have now been 4 times, so I am included in their little circle now. I am A Regular. And I am in formation as well. When I finish the exercises. Head out the water, chatting as we go. They don't ask so many questions, but they all stop and chat. Some are even trying some of the resistance exercises, give me strength. I may have started something.
Over 60s in this county, get to go swimming for free, and believe me, they are making good use of this. So any ideas I may once have had about minding my own business, doing my exercises and getting out fast have evaporated. It takes twice as long, but I get out grinning, and if I miss a session, they would want to know why.
There is also a gym upstairs, and I may have to go and investigate that too. And, as things happen, I had to go to the surgery this morning to be weighed (that was not one of my finest moments) height measured and B/P taken. Why?? Well, my doctor is prescribing "activity" for me. So I will be getting prescribed gym membership because there are no hydro pools around here. How great is that??!!
I wonder if there is an Over 50s session in the gym???? I am becoming rather fond of Over 50s things! I am, of course, Over 50 myself.
This could be fun........