Friday, February 02, 2007

If It Floats, It Must Be A Witch

Lately I've taken up swimming as a form of exercise. Mostly because it's a lot easier on what's left of my knees and hips after all those years of Olympic-caliber running.

Special Olympic-caliber running if you want to get technical about it.

Seriously, I've been passed by 9-year-olds in road races. And I'm not above hawking a loogie onto their backs as they run by either. I was once absurdly proud of myself for pushing myself into a sprint, (in the very loosest sense of the word "sprint") across the finish line, passing the guy in front of me.

The guy might have been 12. Fuck you pal, I won.

Now I swim. No icy roads, no traffic, no bad knees. I'm up to a mile at a time. You might think I mention this as some kind of accomplishment. For me, it is. But keep in mind that I "swim" in the same sense that a beached whale "walks". There's a lot of harsh attempts at breathing, an assortment of odd noises and usually a crowd of people can be counted on to gather around and try to put me back in my natural environment. Which is probably a couch with a bag of Fritos and a beer watching a strenuous TV sporting event like poker.

Seriously, poker was on NBC last weekend in the afternoon. I play poker, I like poker, but if you're at home on a Saturday to watch a poker tournament you are in desparate need of either an intervention or some kind of internal organs so you can get out of that iron lung.

Anyway, back to my accomplishment of swimming a mile. The other day I come staggering home from swimming and more or less collapse on the couch. I put on the TV and prepare for the sweet release of death, or sleep. On one of the channels, probably The Discovery Channel, since they get off on this stuff, they have a show that puts me in my place. There's a woman on who's going to swim a mile in about half an hour. No big deal. Faster than me, (by a LOT), but I'm not proud, as I think I've showed over the last year or so here. But she's going to do it in THE ANTARCTIC OCEAN!! Seriously. She's jumps off a boat anchored a mile offshore and swims to the beach. The water is 32, but apparently salt water has a lower freezing temperature. I complain when the water in the pool is 80. She's dodging ice chunks and penguins. Our pool has lane dividers. And penguins, although I have no idea why. They just shit all over the place and eat all the fish. This chick plows ahead for a half hour in this water, staggers onto the shore, then is promptly covered in blankets, stuffed in a motorboat, people pile on top of her, she's rushed back to the boat and put in a special warming room to recover from what the TV people blithely call "near hypothermia." If that was me, you know what they'd call my condition?



Blogger eclectic said...

She had a dry-suit on though, right? So, that's totally cheating. You win.

8:56 AM  
Blogger P said...

You know what kind of condition I'd have to be in to even get into the freezing water to begin with?



9:32 AM  
Blogger limpy99 said...

Eclectic, no, she did not. While she was built somewhat like a walrus, (a point they actually made!), she hit the water in only a one-piece suit.

I'm with you, PG. We'll stay up here on the deck with the smart people and the margaritas.

10:03 AM  
Blogger eclectic said...

Oh. Well then, she wins.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Zoe said...

I hate to add insult to injury here, but if she is swimmin in the ocean, she is probaly also swimming more than a mile because I'm sure the currents pull her off course. Maybe they calculate all of that and factor it in.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Swimming is excellent exercise. I used to swim regularly at the YMCA down the street from where I attended seminary in St. Louis. The only problem I found with winter swimming was the ice that formed in my hair as I walked home. Of course, I'd never swim in the Artic; give me a nice, indoor heated pool in February.

Watching poker on TV is like watching fishing on TV. What a waste of time and one's life.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Only start worrying if the Japanese whaling ships start showing up in the pool. There's not a "Life Guard" division of Greenpeace.

12:49 PM  
Blogger tysgirl said...

Oh hell no, that's just wrong!

We don't even consider getting in the lake until the water is 85-90 degrees. Of course we usually take our Mimosas or Mudslides with us and there is definitely no exercising going on!

3:20 PM  
Blogger Crashdummie said...

Ouch, hearing that couldn’t be so good for your fragile male ego now could it. Bummer.

But then again I bet you could win over her in poker?

Dunno whether that should cheer you up or make you even more depressed...

3:23 PM  
Blogger puerileuwaite said...

She seems like the perfect girl. No matter how crappy the environment, she cheerfully endures. I can think of many instances where this virtue would prove useful.

7:13 AM  
Blogger Blondie said...

People like that deserve to die of the element they try to overcome.

Okay, maybe that's harsh.

Keep complainin' about the 80 degree water, babe...

Great blog..

9:37 PM  
Blogger CP said...

I think I burn off calories by watching aerobics on television.

I walk back and forth to the fridge at least twice. Really gets the blood pumping.


1:51 PM  
Blogger Tai said...

It might be a very small rock.

Why do people do things like that to themselves??
What's the point?
I just don't understand why people put themselves into postitions where other people might be endangered trying to save them.
On the other hand, a friend of mine from high school (Colin Angus) and his girlfriend just ROWED across the atlantic a while a go.
You should google him.
You'll see what I mean.

7:35 PM  
Blogger limpy99 said...

Eclectic, it's only a win if I'm competing. And I gracefully yield to her swimming superiority.

Zoe, yeah, they probably do calculate that. I wonder if they account for distance added having to dodge hungry leopard seals?

Nick, swimming is great. I drive home, thereby adding to the air pollution while feeing good about myself for exercising.

Maggie, hey, does that sign say "Maru"?

tysgirl, yes, but what is going on?

crashdummie, I wouldn't count on me beating anyone in poker. When your chief tell is a habit of screaming "Hot damn! I've got aces", you probably shouldn't count on poker as a career.

pug, plus, you can stick her in a freezer and call it "training"!

blondie, thanks. I tend to agree. I never feel particularly sorry for people who die on Everest or doing something stupid to test themselves. I'll certainly run in the cold or climb a mountain or whatever, but if you're going to swim with icebergs, well, you reap what you sow.

CP, you are an inspriation to us all. And don't forgot to include the aerobic benefits of "PunchPaula"; I would think an hour of that would burn off a three course meal.

Tai, very small rocks never turned anyone into a newt.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Steven Novak said...

Fuck me? Fuck you! I WON THAT RACE!!! ;)


8:41 AM  
Blogger limpy99 said...

Nuh-uh you little creep. I totally edged you out at the tape!

8:58 AM  
Blogger The Recovering Straight Girl said...

I won't even get in my hot tub if it's under 102.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Big Pissy said...

Sometimes I think about exercising...but then I lay down until the feeling passes.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Lady K said...

I LOVE swimming. We even have a heated pool here. Too bad the kids take over. I abhore the words "marco, polo." It's best played AFTER the margaritas.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Deathboy said...

That was probably Lynne Cox. She wrote a great book about her swimming career called "Swimming to Antarctica."

(Well, great if you like that kind of thing -- reading about endurance athletes probably rates up there with watching poker on most people's lameness scale)

She also swam from the US to the USSR, set a record for swimming the English Channel, and did a bunch of other ultradistance swims.

And she got some kind of possibly permanent nerve damage from the Antarctica swim - since it was salt water it was actually colder than 32 Farenheit.

12:01 PM  
Blogger limpy99 said...

RSG, I've noticed it's sort of hard to swim in hot tubs. Usually because I'm drunk at the time.

Big Pissy, you and my wife would get along quite well. And the bitch has the metabolism of a hummingbird!

Lady K, I can think of much better games than Marco Polo to play after margaritas.

Deathboy, a) Nice name. b) You are correct. It was Lynne Cox. She is quite the long-distance swimmer. I did not know that she suffered the nerve damage on the Antarctic swim. As I recall from the show the water was about 30.

Or roughly 92 cooler than RSG's hot tub.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Brooklyn Frank said...

death is underrated.

12:47 PM  
Blogger limpy99 said...

So are the Celtics.

Oh no, wait, the Celtics really do suck.

1:02 PM  

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