There is nothing so good for my self esteem as the gym locker room. It’s nice to be somewhere where you realize that there’s no such thing as the “perfect” body short of a studio shoot and some serious Photoshop work. I’ve gained some weight and was feeling badly about myself. I hadn’t been exercising, so my brain was getting sluggish, too. However, half an hour in the pool swimmin’ laps is enough to put my mind right. ‘Course it doesn’t do my body any harm, either.
But, the reminder that there’s no such thing as perfect is a good one and it helps keep me from getting down on myself. The gym I go to is a community gym, so you get everyone from the competitive athletes to the old ladies who swim gently to stave off the walker just one more month.
I’m kind of in between. I do my swim and it feels good, but I’m no competitor. I like to keep active because I have a sedentary damn job and if I don’t move, my brain stops working properly. Since my brain is my major asset, I really can’t afford to let that get sluggish.
One of the women in the gym today commented as I was blow-drying my hair, “I don’t see how you can have hair like that and be a swimmer.”
Apparently, she’d never heard of the Conditioner Trick:
Wet your hair really well in the shower. Work a small amount of conditioner through your hair. Don’t use too much or your head will be too slippery and your cap will fall off while you’re swimming. My hair is pretty thick and down to my waist and I only use about the size of a silver dollar’s worth. Put on your swim cap. If you’re working out hard enough to get red in the face, your head is hot enough that you’re getting a great deep conditioning treatment. Don’t put the conditioner on the dry hair as you want your hair to have absorbed the water without so many chemicals in it first. The conditioner will seal out the chemicals from the pool then. After your swim, shower and wash your hair, but if you have to use a hair dryer1, don’t dry your hair all the way.
Of course, this doesn’t stop me from looking really goofy when I put the swim cap on. It’s like those old Samurai topknots, getting my mane up into those little latex caps. I guess if you’re a serious swimmer, you have to resign yourself to looking like a damn dork working out.
I need to find myself a weightlifting buddy in a couple of months, though. I’m working back into working out more often and I want a little accountability, I think. I want someone strong enough to spot me, though.
1It’s 10F outside today. Yes, I’m going to mostly dry it before I go outside to go home! I’ve actually neglected this before and had my hair freeze on me. I doubt that’s very wise for one’s health.