“I’m A Swimmer”-May Take Up Swimming

I went to the gym this morning, ready for a fight, the woman found my paperwork and made me a card. Look  at that, and it is not even Wednesday. She did want 10RMB for the card, which I didn’t have and said I will pay tomorrow. I was able to go to the gym. There was no air conditioning on, I know this for it is hot, as if the air was not on and there are ribbons hanging down for the vents and the ribbons were not moving. Good thing the machines have fans on them so you can get a little air movement.  The machines face the swimming pool, I spent 1 hour on the elliptical for I was distracted by the entertainment in the pool.

Swimming is big in China for exercise. When looking at apartments, when shown the gym they made a big deal if it had an indoor swimming pool. These are not pool like you have in most communities to relax and cool off in, they are Olympic sized pools with lanes.  When visiting the Water Cube in Beijing there was a floor dedicated to the Olympics and swimming, there was even a photo of Chairman Mao in the water, he was a fan of swimmer as well. The exhibit was about China and swimming, not one mention, photo of any other athlete, and not even a glimpse of Michael Phelps who broke many Olympic records in that very space. The video edits shown focused on the Chinese athletes, it was fun to try to see glimpses of others.

I don’t know much about swimming, my high school did not have a swim team, we didn’t even have a soccer team. I won’t swim in Florida, too many gators, eels, snakes, other things that live and grow in the water and lets be honest I am not to much of a fan of getting my hair and other parts wet.

Overlooking the pool, it was divided into  2 sections, the practices section for what looked like a High School swim team practicing, there were 10 of them 8 males and 2 females and the recreation swimming section. I was fascinated by the swim team and their coach. In my mind she was the Sue Sylvester from Glee or Vi Goodnow from Frontier Regional of swimming. She wore yellow cargo shorts and a red t-shirt with something written on the front I couldn’t make out, I think it may have said “Swim Hard or Go Home” she also had red Croc like shoes and a stop watch. She also had a long white pole… I will get into that. The swimmers were in the water when I got there and I stated 1 hour. They practiced swimming, doing laps of different styles and then they were timed. Some would do their turns in the water, others didn’t, I saw trying to figure out if it was different ability or why. It is amazing to watch them go through the water, I don’t think a human body is suppose to do that, your arms, so fast. I watched to coach use the stick, I have no idea what she was going with it, was it to tell them they were coming too far out of the water? That something they were doing with their feet? She would tap them with it, it was a little scary for me to see this long pole coming at the swimmers.

I think I am going to take up swimming. When I got my membership, I didn’t receive a rule book. However I have noticed the folks all wear swimming caps and goggles. The ladies also wear one piece suits. I don’t think I can wear bathing suits made of strings (for you Andrea) or any other 2 piece. Although, it is not like I am going to fit in and not stand out anyway, why not wear a 2 piece or string suit, along with my swim cap and googles, I could be a hit!

I hope the swim team is back again at the gym for it was fascinating to watch.


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