Some of you know that I kind of hurt my knee toward the end of summer. It wasn't anything serious, but every now and then, if I stepped funny, I could feel it. Just to be safe I decided to stop running. I bought a knee brace and ran a few times with it, but I ended up just stopping all together--what's the point of putting myself at risk of a real injury?
As part of my cross-training (I want to maintain a minimal level of fitness), and also because the doctor recommended swimming for Angelines's back, we signed up at the indoor pool in Antequera. It's only a 25 min. drive and the installations are far superior to the pool we used to drive to (now closed). Each month we get a ten-swim bono and so we go between twice and three times a week to swim for an hour.
It is great! I am fast becoming a swimming fan. After 45 min of swimming laps, I'm a new person. :) Those of you who swim, know what I mean...and for those of you who don't, all I can say is it is the most relaxing form of cardio exercise in the world. I usually swim between 1.5-2km each time we go, and when I'm finished I just feel good (for lack of a better adjective!). There's nothing like working up a good sweat on a 5k run, but getting out of the pool after a kilometer and a half, is a whole different thing. I get the same kind of post workout high, but almost without realizing it. Instead of being tired, I'm just completely relaxed. And there's no residual soreness or muscle fatigue from pounding on my joints.
At first, getting into a rhythm with my breathing was hard, but now I can do thirty laps without stopping. I'm finally getting to the point where I don't need to focus all my energy on breathing and coordination; and I can think about what to do with my afternoon classes, what to cook for lunch, what to do about X problem or Y... That is to say, swimming, just like running, has finally gotten to the point of being a mental outlet as well as physical.
...Are you wondering about the title of my post: The shark woman? On a Friday night way back in November, when I took A her dinner to the bar, a friend stopped me on the way out and said, "So, I hear you have gills." I didn't know what to make of that until he explained that Angelines had apparently been bragging about my swimming. "Sí," he said, "me ha dicho que eres la mujer tiburón".
So far I don't have gills, but it is true that when I get into a rhythm, I feel more fish-like than human. :)