Sunday, December 11, 2005


Swimming is the only exercise I can tolerate because I don't like to sweat. In the summer, I swim every day in the privacy of my backyard. A tall fence keeps my neighbors from seeing me in a swimsuit. My resemblance to Surlaw, the walrus at Sea World, makes me as thankful for that as they are.

Backyard pools are great if you're the one who uses them. I met a couple who thought their children (and then grandchildren) would enjoy a pool. After a few years they gave up and had the pool filled in with dirt. I've always heard that pools add nothing to the value of a house. My experience buying homes in California and Tennessee supports that theory.

This fall, just like he did the year before, my chiropractor, Dr. Chris Hosenfeld, strongly urged me to find an indoor pool where I could get some exercise during the colder months. I had resisted because I didn't want to be seen in a swimsuit outside my privacy fence. Things changed recently. You may recall that my program director suggested I go on a weight loss program and do endorsement commercials for it. The program director also said I could use the station's account at a local health club.

I've been on the weight loss program since September 20. By Thanksgiving I had lost 23 pounds and was thinking that maybe I could stand to burn a few calories in the pool. I forced myself to face my fear and went to the health club for a tour. The guy at the club asked several questions about my goals and what had kept me from joining sooner. I told him how I didn't like being seen in my swim trunks but that I was going to deal with it. He said that after a couple of visits, nobody at the club notices anybody else. Well, I've got news for him. Maybe nobody at the club notices me, but after several visits I can tell you that I notice everybody who is thinner than me, which is almost everybody. I doubt that I am the only one looking at the attractive women.

Generally speaking, the other swimmers are men who are several years older than me.
The pool is the least busy area of the club. Most of the clientele use the treadmills, ellipticals and weight machines instead. I see plenty of body builders there, some who look like they would fail a Major League Baseball drug test. On Friday I saw a weightlifter with a full-on mullet. I guess no one will ever tell him to get a haircut.

Each time I arrive at the club, one particular employee asks me if I'm there to work out or "just swim." I remind him that I'm only interested in swimming not sweating and he says that whenever I'm ready he'll show me how to use the various machinery. Why doesn't swimming get any respect at the health club? It's not like I show up with an inner tube.
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Blogger jess said...

he's a trainer, he's trying to recruit you, make a little extra money. Maybe he's also trying to help you? You might want to take him up on it one day. You could "sweat" a little bit, then swim it off. Or, you could go to the steam room and schvitz with the other fellas.


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