Posts Tagged ‘bella the bathing beauty’

I haven’t written a “bathing beauty” installment in over a year, and it feels great to have something to write about.

As you guys know, my dad and I have been swimming daily, and on Wednesday I learned how to breathe while I swim!  My dad is the best swim coach ever, and he said I was a quick learner, so I guess those swimming lessons when I was 5 years old came back to me.

The trickiest part of learning to breathe to the side between strokes was making sure that I didn’t take any water in while I came up.  Oh, and that my hair wasn’t in my mouth (luckily a hair tie did the trick).  My dad said the key was to blow the air out while you were underwater so that when you came up for another breath you were ready for it.  He suggested blowing through my nose, but that just felt uncomfortable, so I blew the air through my mouth.  It’s sort of weird to swim through the bubbles, but I got used to it pretty quickly.

I set up a 5-stroke rhythm that worked really well.  So well in fact that I was swimming laps in no time.  Wednesday, the first day, I think I swam about 7-10 full laps.  Today (Thursday) I swam between 15-20 laps.  I lost count somewhere along the way, but I can tell you that for the hour I was in the pool, I was swimming laps almost the entire time.  It felt so good to move through the water, breathing properly, and finishing a length without being so out of breath because I was trying to hold all of the air in my lungs for as long as possible.  What a difference it makes in the efficiency of my strokes!  Oh, and I earned 4 APs, which is good.

I’m really proud of myself for conquering this, and so grateful to my dad for teaching me.  A really lovely side benefit of our swimming sessions is that we get to catch up on tidbits of the day while we take little swim breaks.

(I’m taking tomorrow off from the pool because I have a few other things going on, but I should be back on Saturday).

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3079716157_b1fa6ba419 Yesterday I spent a good portion of the day around the house doing laundry, cleaning up a bit, and fooling around on the computer.  It was 4pm before I knew it, and I hadn’t done any exercise.

So, I decided it was time to get some swimming in.  While I was getting changed, I figured that I might as well go to an Aqua class afterwards, since the timing would be perfect.  I’d already be in my suit and my parents’ pool is halfway to the gym.

I also wore my new suit that I got on sale from Avenue.com:

0309_83535_mm It looks nice on me, although the top is a bit lower cut (more cleavage-bearing) than it shows in the photo here.  I’ll try to get a photo of me wearing it, so you can see how it fits.

When I got to the pool there was NO ONE there the entire time!  It was so nice to be able to swim and swim and swim and not worry about getting in anyone’s way.  The pool area was so serene, and it was nice to be out there when the sun wasn’t quite so intense, although I did pick up some color anyway.  (With my olive skin, once I get a base tan, I tan very, very easily).  I swam 26 lengths, or 13 laps and felt so refreshed.  I got some good reading in, and listened to a few new tunes.  Heaven!

download-2 I got a pedi the other day, and I love the red color.

Around 5:45pm, I got ready to head to the gym for the Aqua class.  I had never gone to the Tuesday evening class, and I am so glad that I did.  This instructor told us that his class was “intense” and that he didn’t allow “bouncing.” I worked hard throughout the class, but I loved it.  The moves were so much more straightforward than the other classes I’ve taken, and I really felt like I was working it.

When I was done, my fingers were prunes, and I was so tired, but in that good, “I moved my body and burned calories” kind of way.

I’m planning on going to an Aqua class again tonight and swimming with Neece tomorrow and with Ish on Saturday.

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2725033185_d849522278 Ok, maybe not quite, but I went to the pool again today and for about 25 minutes (out of the 2 hours I was out there), I was the only one there.  Loved it!  I could almost pretend that I had this fabulous pool in my backyard, surrounded by a huge, park-like expanse of grass.  I should’ve taken some pictures of the surrounding area – I’ll do that on Wednesday, I promise.

So today I set a goal for myself: complete 20 laps.  I was determined to beat my lap total from yesterday, and this time I was going to count.  Also, my dad told me that when I was swimming the width of the pool (rather than the length), I should complete three mini laps to equal one real lap.  When the pool gets busy, I stay to the deep end, and just go back and forth width-wise so that I can still swim laps, but don’t have to worry about the preteens in the other side of the pool.

Being the overachiever that I am, I completed 24 laps today.  Not too shabby.  I did the first 14 lengthwise, combining regular strokes with the backstroke.  At that point I was a bit tired, so I decided to get out, dry off, listen to some Edie Brickell and New Bohemians (I’m on an 80s music kick, what can I say?), and read my magazine.  Just about the time that I was almost completely dry and about to melt from the heat, I decided to get back in the pool and do the rest of my laps.  I ended up feeling like I could push myself past the equivalent of 20 laps, so I ended up with 24.  I wanted to do 3 more mini laps so that it would equal 25 laps, but I was just too spent at that point.

Besides the fact that I got in some great exercise, swimming is really helping me work on my tan.  Now, it may not be popular, but I love laying out and getting a nice, golden tan.  I’m blessed to have olive skin – those Italian genes – and I rarely burn.  Still, I use SPF 15 sunscreen on my body and 25 on my face.  I’m getting progressively darker, but not overdoing it.  I don’t want to end up looking like an old leather handbag later in life, but I can’t think of anything more relaxing than lying in the sun, iPod on, magazine or book at the ready, and just enjoying the moment.  Especially when that moment comes after swimming a lot of laps.  I use it as a reward.

On a side note, my dad said that a lap should be considered going up and back the pool (once up and once back).  I told him I disgreed – one lap up and one lap back.  Who’s right?  I told him, either way, I swam a lot more than I have in years and years, so I’m happy.

I’m looking forward to seeing how much farther I can push myself as the summer continues.  I’m also looking forward to taking an “after” shot of sorts in my bathing suit (who ever thought I’d say THAT!) at the end of summer (the weekend before school starts) to show how much progress I’ve made.


Update 6/30: After numerous comments and looking it up on Wikipedia, I have discovered that my dad was in fact correct (he always is!!), and a lap is the length up the pool AND back.  What I was calling laps were actually lengths.  Either way, I did 12 laps, 24 lengths, and a whole lot more swimming than I’ve done in YEARS!!

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