Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fins and the Art of Swim Kick Maintenance

Always stretch before exercising (click to
enlarge to see what's on TV)

I am an amazing swimmer. There is little that I cannot do with a pair of noodles in a pool, as long as it is Olympic-sized and the noodle colors match my swimsuit. Just the other day I discovered that I could attach one end of the noodle to the water outflow and cause the other end to squirt at my swimming partner, Bucksnort. This activity got us some swift attention from the lifeguard, who I know was secretly happy in her heart because during Old Ladies' Swim Hour there is hardly ever any discernible movement in the pool.

I owe the amaziness (sometimes real words just won't do) of my swimming to the fact that I share the same "built for swimming" body style with Michael Phelps, except that I don't have those sticky-outy ears. Well, my arms are a bit shorter than his. That's a good thing, since I am 5'1" and shrinking, and having Phelps-length arms would give a whole new meaning to the phrase "knuckle dragging."

Michael and I both have a short femur-to-body-length ratio, which I understand is indispensable to competition swimmers. As a matter of fact, I overheard that big guy at Physical Therapy, where I was getting used to my recently installed and almost paid for knee, mutter to a co-worker, "She's got no femur at all," which I took as a great compliment.

Michael and I have practically the same trunk, except that mine is a bit more truncated and is--well, trunkier. A lot of this is due to Bucksnort and her insistence that fresh donuts administered immediately are the perfect antidote to physical exercise.

Where Michael and I differ in swimming style is in the kick. Simply put, Michael's kick propels him in a forward direction, and most speedily. On the other hand, my kick, delivered with the very same motion as Michael's, propels me backwards with not so much speed. I've analyzed it, thought about it in the middle of the night, and I've even changed noodle colors but, there it is, the world's first backward swim kick.

After observing my young relative, Toots, running through the sprinklers with great dash and style the other day, I've decided that adopting at least part of his aquatic outfit might help with my propelling issues. So, I've bought myself a pair of fins. They are diving fins, the only ones that were on sale, and this worries me a bit. If I can get them to stay on top of the water (I think that Old Ladies' Swim Hour has a rule about keeping your hairdo dry) instead of wanting to dive to the bottom, I believe that I'll finally and completely own the Phelps swimming style.

This post is dedicated to Cathy, who swims laps around noodles and bobbing old lady heads over in Alamogordo. Thanks for the inspiration, Cathy!


Cathy4017 said...

LOL!!! Thanks, Clairz!! Appreciate it!

Enjoy your swims, and watch those lifeguards and bobbing heads!!



Sylvia K said...

Well, you brought me to tears with your post of today and now I'm laughing so hard! You've got a great sense of humor and I love your style! Swim on, girl!

AlisonL said...

LOL. So glad you don't have those "sticky outy" ears of Phelps too. You might have to move to Roswell if you did.
Your blog cracks me up.