The Evening Swim

When we moved into our Florida home almost six years ago1, we put in a small swimming pool. It’s Florida and although people survive without a pool, the vast majority understand that it’s the next thing to an essential basic need once hot and humid summer rolls around. We’re in north eastern Florida so pool season isn’t year round like it is farther south but it is 9-10 months of the year here. We thought of the pool as a wonderful luxury item but as the years went along, it became a mental lifesaver for me. My bad knees got worse and swimming was the only exercise I could do.

Oh, there was plenty of luxurious lounging around too – don’t get me wrong. Still is, as a matter of fact. Once I get done exercising2, I arrange a nice little set up made up of a pool float, a swim saddle, a wide brimmed hat, an insulated coconut cup, a Bluetooth speaker and an iPad. I park the coconut and the speaker on the edge of the pool, plop the hat on my own sun streaked coconut3, sit on the swim saddle, fold the mat in half so I can rest my arms on it, prop up the iPad against the head rest and set sail.

You’d be surprised how long you can be content like that – floating around, listening to music and stirring things up on Twitter.

It’s beastly hot out there now so everyday I plan to go out at 8 or 9 am, do my exercising while the pool is still in shade and get it over with. Total times that has happened: 1. So instead I go out a 8pm, get down to the business of swimming and then float on my back waiting for a plane to pass overhead or for the stars to come out. Big discovery: there are bats here! Very busy little swooping bats that zoom back and forth and turn on a dime. The pool water is still warm from the beastly hot day that is ending, there’s no noise except nature sounds4 and its a nice way to get very relaxed before bedtime.

Anyway, this isn’t even what I wanted to tell you. My only regret about the pool is that I was too inexperienced to ask that a swim jet be installed during construction so I could swim against the current and stay in one place. I’ve been swimming end to end but lose a lot of time turning around at the ends and if I’m doing the back stroke, I am in fear of bonking my head because I take a blood thinner and how many mini bleeds does it take to create brain damage?

But that’s all in the past now. A friend of mine casually mentioned a swim tether to me and wondered why I didn’t use one. Because I never even heard about such a thing! It took me about 28 hours after that conversation for Amazon to put one in my hands. It’s a nylon belt covered with foam, a nylon loop with a ring and a rubbery bungee cord. It sounds silly but it works. No more stopping to turn, no more head bonking.

When I stop to rest, especially if I’m doing the back stroke, I let the bungee retract and gently return me to the handrail that the tether is attached to, It’s pleasant. My husband watched me swim face down and when I stopped for a rest, he said I looked like a toddler who made a break for it but the mother caught him by the waistband of his pants.

Swim tethers. Now we all know about them.

1Can you believe that already?

2Haha – before and after! Sometimes the exercise never even happens. “Sometimes” (eye roll )

3Nope. Hair salon.

4 Coyotes behind the fence, frogs in the trees.

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