Friday 16th August 2013

Workout Soundtrack: Gyuto Monks of Tibet – ‘Om’ (on the way to and from the pool)

50m untimed warm-up (freestyle)

then

20 minutes in steam room (dynamic stretching, pacing & 1min plank)

I was going to write this post as soon as I got in from the pool this morning. However, on my way home I realised I was quite angry that I had not managed to complete even a full warm-up before withdrawing and heading to the steam room!

As soon as my feet hit the floor after waking up this morning I was pretty much ready to get to the pool. It was my plan to do a 100m warm-up, 1 mile at fast pace and then a 100m warm-down before heading back home to eat breakfast and cook dinner to take to my late shift! I was so tired that I found myself getting impatient just waiting for my coffee to cool down to a drinkable temperature – as soon as it was ready I pretty much downed it in one, shouldered my swim pack and headed for the door.

I was preparing my mind and focusing on the task ahead by listening to a buddhist mantra on the short journey to the pool, so when I got there I was pretty much on auto-pilot. I didn’t do my usual check of the pool before getting changed and I believe this oversight was due to tiredness and a calm mantra state of mind. So, imagine my horror when I stepped out to poolside to be greeted with a sea of grey hair and what can only be described as a soundtrack of gibbering gossip!

I could see no clear lanes in the pool at all, there were so many old folk in there swimming slowly and chatting to one another that there was barely room to kick on a breaststroke! I donned my cap and goggles anyway and waited for a small gap to appear – I swam a determined and fast 25m freestyle and turned quickly for the return 25m only to be met with swimmers lined up across all of the lanes swimming very slowly. I treated this a bit like I imagine an open water swim might be in a triathlon (only slower) – that is to say, I just swam right into them. Needless to say, that didn’t go down too well, not with me and not with the two old boys I swam into. I honestly thought they would have at least heard me coming or have seen me heading out on my first 25 and then made room!

Anyway, I reached the end of my second 25m lap and noticed that the old folks were all lined up at the end of the pool waiting for the people behind me to reach the wall. Once the people behind arrived at the wall, they stopped to exchange a bit of small talk before the group who had been waiting set off for their slow lap. The newly arrived group stayed behind to exchange more gossip.

Exasperated, I gave up and got out of the pool! Quite frankly I don’t need to hear how somebody’s granddaughter is doing at university or how B&Q provide better service than Homebase at that time of day!

I didn’t really want to leave the pool without getting in some kind of meaningful workout type activity in before heading home so I went to the steam room. Thankfully, this was empty and I spent a very peaceful twenty minutes pacing around with my arms, neck, head and back held in a running posture. I threw in a bit of dynamic stretching for good measure and then, with one minute to go before the recommended twenty minutes was up I dropped down to do one of the most difficult planks I’ve ever done! This will now be part of my routine and I’ll try to slowly extend the amount of time I can hold the plank in that kind of heat and humidity as the weeks go by.

With that all done and dusted I packed up and headed for home. But not before asking the receptionist what time would be best for me to get a decent morning swim in – she suggested either before 0800hrs or 0930hrs onwards – without prompting she said “The old folks tend to clog up the pool between those times, they come out of nowhere!”. I have to say that comment made me chuckle and reminded me of the South Park episode ‘Grey Dawn’, hence the video at the top of this post 🙂

To end this post I’d just like to say that I’m thinking of writing to the pool manager to allocate pool time to OAPs on their timetable so this kind of thing doesn’t happen again. Toddlers & Mum’s have their own allocated two hour slot and four to six lanes put aside for them each day so it would make sense and wouldn’t be discriminatory. I have absolutely no problem with old people taking exercise and socialising, quite the opposite, I’d just like to be properly informed so I can plan my workouts accordingly!

Peace and blessings readers, until the ‘morrow, adieu.

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