The swimming season has finally started, and Ive been waiting all summer for it. Does that sound a little backwards? Thats because the program for people with disabilities, run through our city recreation and parks department, is not offered in the summer. There is nothing quite as relaxing, yet physically demanding, as swimming. It is said to be one of the best full body workouts, and for me, its also a great way to control my weight. After a 45-minute session of swimming laps and doing certain water aerobic exercises, I dont feel I need to diet the rest of the day, or the week for that matter. Im not good at dieting anyway.
Blindness is not a barrier for this sport, so long as some accommodations have been made, as they are in this program. Because I cant see the painted line on the bottom of the pool, a rope is strung from one end of the pool to the other. It serves as a physical boundary for me. Id like to say that I just touch the rope every few strokes, but the truth is, I often bang into the rope or the side of the pool on my other side. Seems I cant swim a straight line, but I eventually get to the other end. While in the deep end, I pause to do some leg lifts or chin-ups with the starting block or push-ups with the edge of the pool. The best part about those exercises is when I get to stop doing them and slip back into the water and resume doing laps with the back stroke. I only do the back stroke, because I have never gotten the hang of getting a sufficient breath with any other stroke. That will always be something to work toward. Meanwhile, I keep trying to do more laps in the appointed amount of time I have. Besides having the restriction of the allotted time for us, I also have to be done at a set time, because of my transportation.
Being blind is to my benefit at this city pool. Each Tuesday and Thursday, from 11:00 to 12:30, the pool is closed to the public, and only people with disabilities are allowed in. Im the only blind person, and I have a whole lane to myself. Good thing no other blind person has taken the plunge, so to speak. Otherwise, wed surely be banging our heads together from time to time. Still, Id like to share this joy with other blind folks, but the selfish part of me is glad its my little secret, well that is, until today.