Keeping swim workouts creative and fun is not always the easiest thing to do. I have water proof spiral books filled with workouts, several workouts a friend has given me, and I have even found a few good workouts from fellow bloggers. But like meal planning, the same workouts – or recipes – over and over get dull. U.S. Masters Swimming is an organization for adult swimmers who want to continue to swim with groups and also for those who want to continue competing in swim meets long after high school and college. They also have an abundance of workouts on their web site available for members. Membership is a very reasonable cost, so I joined. The workouts alone are worth the cost, not to mention access to many more swim practices around town if I wish to participate.
This morning I did what so many swimmers do, I got out my zip lock baggie with my workout in it and headed into the pool. I met up with my friend who swims just a bit faster than I – except for kicking – she whips me there. The workout was 3,100 meters – I cut 100 meters off because I forgot my inhaler and jumped out of the pool during warm up to go get it. Swimming hard really does push my lungs and the inhaler helps me quite a bit. The variety of the sets was a welcomed change. We did a little of everything – kick sets, pull sets, different strokes, and different distances. Swimming with others continues to push me to swim faster and get stronger. Part of the workout we were joined by our strongest swimmer, she really adds a good dimension to the workout. I am able to watch her style underwater when she is doing different strokes since she is ahead of me – her form is very good and gives me a good example of what to focus on in my form.
Routines have many benefits – I have my assigned days for specific workouts and it gives me structure. Mixing it up within the workouts makes it exciting and interesting. My days tend to have quite a bit of structure in all aspects, but I also make efforts to mix it up where possible. Today I made a few calls and sent a few texts to friends I haven’t been in touch with for a while. Hearing their voices and reading what they are up to also adds an element of excitement to life. Since this is my recovery month, running on Wednesday evenings is optional. Today I opted out and finished the last of my gift shopping. Flexibility, mixing things up, doing things just a little differently within a routine – all help make life interesting and add excitement. Something I need to remember not just at the holidays, but all year long. Adding to the joy in life to seize each day.