OT: The universe finally throws a poor, humble photographer a bone... Splash, splash.

Yesterday felt like a step backwards. I noticed a flaw with a new camera and spent time boxing it up and returning it. This morning felt like I was just running in place trying to come up with things to do and reasons to unlock the studio door. By noon I was ready to get out of my house and my office and just walk to relieve the boredom and encroaching ennui. I went downtown, parked my car, ditched my phone in the center console, masked-up and went for a walk. 

When I got back to the car a while later I checked messages. There was a text from my swimmer friend, Patty, which read: "Masters swimming is back! Check yr e-mail."

Hallelujah. Hallelujah! It seems like years since I've been in the pool. Apparently the USMS (United States Masters Swimming) folks have been working with medical experts to devise protocols for allowing us to get back to swim workouts. We'll be swimming with no more than two people to a lane. One person will start at one end of the pool and one person at the other end. We'll start and finish our repeats and sets at opposite ends of the pool from each other at all times. We'll circle swim. Up the right side of the lane and back on the right. We won't be able to use the showers, suit spinning dryers or the water fountains, and we'll have to come suited up; ready to hop in and swim. 

To make this all work we're having to do reservations for each workout. Of course there is a website and an app for making reservations. With space for only 14 people per workout the sign-up system is the only way to make it all work. 

Since I was out walking and not sitting at my desk, or nursing my phone, I missed the original message by hours. When I got back to my computer to log-in, re-engage my credit card (to pay dues) and head to the reservation site all of the 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. workout slots for next week were already filled up. But there was still more than enough space for an anxious-to-get-back to the water swimmer in the SIX a.m. to SEVEN a.m. slots. I can handle that. I did it all through high school and college...

The biggest advantage for us is that we're a private, members only swim club so we don't have to worry about accommodating walk-ins or drop-bys. 

We're scheduled to start next Tuesday but I'm already cleaning my goggles and checking my gear. This will take so much of the sting out of the shutdown for me. I can hardly wait. I would have traded a camera system just for the chance to swim through the Summer. Now all is not lost! Some sanity has returned to my universe. Pure, soaking, hyper-gratitude over here. 

I've got four days booked for workouts through the next week and I couldn't be happier. It's like getting a free Leica M10 in the mail. 

Now I can back off of all that stupid running. Whoever thought that running was a real exercise? (again, sarcasm alert!!! I do understand and appreciate that running is good exercise). 

Tuesday. May 19th. 6 a.m. Target. 


Mark the tog said...

I believed running was good until my knees told me otherwise.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Listen to the knees...you'll want to use them even when you get older...

There are three things my sports medicine doctor/clients advise me about running:

1. try to get to your optimum weight before you engage in long distance running. Every pound closer to optimum is less stress on the joints.

2. Alternate running shoes every time you run. This allows the resting pair to recover the loft in their padding foam for better shock absorption.

3. Don't run on concrete or black top if you can run on cinder trails or in short grass. The cinder trail surface allows for a bit of slide when placing feet while hard surfaces lock in the foot placement.

They all tell me that if I'm following the rules and my knees still get sore I should invest a bit of $$$ in a running coach to make sure I'm running with good form.

The one thing I do like a lot about running is that it's easier to justify buying fun, new shoes. Which you should do often since the foam in the soles really does give out over time. Maybe a new pair every thousand miles? If you are heavier then maybe every 500 miles. No sense pounding oneself silly. Especially if you can swim instead.

Or, as my swim coach once said: "Running (fill in the blank with any sport) is for people who CAN'T swim."

That should stir something up.

karmagroovy said...

That's great news that you'll be getting your clorine fix soon. Please let us know how swimming with a mask works out! ;-)

JC said...

I've got a home pool which requires slightly more frequent turns (it's 20 yards long) but I got into it three weeks ago here in Santa Fe, where it's still quite cool, and have ben swimming almost every day. As you say, some hard exercise that doesn't pound the joints *almost* makes quarantining tolerable. One odd thing (here anyway) is the different state decisions made about businesses that can open or must remain closed. For example, golf courses are open (with limitations -- only one person to a golf cart, except for domestic partners) which makes some sense, since golfers really don't have to get close to each other outside the cart. But the shooting ranges remain closed. I need to know some things about guns for my job, and so belong to the local sportsman club ($75 a *year*) but it remains closed. I rarely see two people shooting together. Usually, it's just lonely guys out punching paper. I don't know why this is, but there are other examples. I think it would be quite simple to make tennis safe (one guy hits yellow balls, the other guy hits white) but the tennis courts remain closed. Photography is open: the skies here tonight looked like a 19th Century Roman watercolor...

Fred said...

That's good news.

ODL Designs said...

Congrats Kirk. The world is starting to start turning again!