Went to the gym on Thursday.
Things I had forgotten how much I loved about swimming, but recalled more or less instantly:
How welcoming the water feels.
How effortlessly happy swimming makes me. It’s pure pleasure, no matter what kind of mood I had before I got in, I always leave happy.
Muscle memory is the longest and most accurate memory I possess.
It hurts less when I’m doing it than it will later. I used to be on a swim team, and it feels deceptively easy, still. But if I’m not careful at first, I will hurt badly later.
No one cares how well or badly you are doing except for the lifeguards, and they only do in case you look like you might drown. This is wholly unlike the weight room, where everyone is sizing everyone else up constantly.
Things I belatedly remembered about swimming in a public place:
Get hair wet in the shower even under the swim cap so that it doesn’t absorb chlorine. I barely managed to remember this.
The water feels warm when you get in, but gets colder the higher it gets on you.
Take off the protective plastic from the swim goggles before getting in the water, dolt.
Rest at first between laps, lest you die of asthma in the deep end and prematurely end your budding career as a returning recreational swimmer. At least for now.
The locker room is bloody freezing when you get out of the pool, making you want to race to get clothes on, but you can’t, because first you have to wash out the chlorine and wrestle the swimsuit off and then try to get dry and clothed before someone comes in. This is the worst part.
If you wear your swimsuit under your clothes to the pool, some underwear for when you change back later would be a good idea. Oops.
I did either 14 or 16 laps in about half an hour. That is enough for a start.