Today is Swim a Lap Day, a day to put on your bathing suit (or go bare if you dare), and get a little exercise in the pool. We all know that floating on your back or lounging in a “floaty” tube are a lot of fun, but swimming offers many valuable health benefits. AND it’s fun! Wether you’re a member at the YMCA, frequent the community pool, or have your own posh setup in your backyard, get out there and enjoy a swim while the weather’s nice and hot.
I often tell people that I had to learn how to swim twice. When I was just an infant, before I could even walk, my mom enrolled me in ‘Water Babies’ at the local rec center. I learned infant swimming and apparently I really enjoyed the activities and the recreational time with my mom. But by the time I was five or six years old, whatever I’d learned in Water Babies was long forgotten. I had to learn to swim and it was a daunting task. Family legend says that I finally put my nose to the grind and learned how after seeing a younger neighbor do it — either I didn’t want to be outdone by a younger kid, or I realized that if a smaller child could learn then I could too. After that, I loved swimming. Though speed was never my talent, I could swim for long stretches of time without stopping or getting tired. I felt like I took after my dad who impressed me with his ability to swim the length of an olympic sized swimming pool underwater in one breath. He is the best swimmer I know.
As I grew older, summers meant less time at the pool and more time working to save money for college. But I never forgot how much I loved to swim, and I was thrilled when my parents bought a house with a beautiful in-ground pool in 2004. Chris and I swam in it several times last summer and now that the water is warming again we thought Swim a Lap Day would be the perfect occasion for our 2011 inaugural trip to the Lipinski pool. Unfortunately, we had to work late again, so we didn’t make it home until after 9 P.M. This made for a chillier swim then we’d planned, but we were still pretty excited. When we made the short trip down the road to my parents’ pool my mom and dad came out to watch us take a lap and cheer us on. I started to get scared about the water being too cold, so my mom counted down for us and Chris and I took off on the count of three! The water was surprisingly warm, but after our we exited the pool, there was definitely a distinct chill in the night’s cool air. It was a little jarring, but exhilarating. I can’t wait to go back and swim another lap (or twenty) when the sun is shining brightly.