How I almost died (Part 1)

January 15, 2010

Ok ok, you can all stop cheering now. I didn’t *actually* die. I definitely felt like I *was* going to die. And now you can do your disappointed aww.

So in my current quest in search of the mythical being called fit I decided to take up swimming laps. The reason for this is when I was in Beijing I went to a traditional chinese doctor who said that my lungs weren’t as strong as they should be and that I needed to exercise more. This was about 3 months ago now so I felt it was about time I actually got off my ass and did some exercise.

The night before my dance with death, I was feeling quite proud of myself because I had decided definitely to go swimming. I was committed. Had I known what would happen the next morning I should have been committed. To an asylum. For crazy people.

I woke up pretty early the next day and had a coffee and drove out to the pool near Garden City Shopping Centre. It had been so long since I’ve gone to a pool I had no idea about the process of getting access to it. Remember that this is the pool I went to when I had my holiday swimming classes when I was still in primary school (which by the way was probably the last time I went swimming). What I remember of this pool, was that it had an outdoor pool and in indoor pool which was heated. But when I got there it had completely changed. It was now a gym/pool place. Both the gym and the pool were completely packed and I didn’t know that holiday swim courses were in progress which meant that the chances of me swimming in child pee was significantly higher than usual.

I go to pay to go and use the pool and found out it costs $5 to go swimming now (I remember it being a lot less, about $1.50). As I go into the pool I see one of my tiny cousins, an 11 year old who just so happened to be having her swimming classes. So we have a brief chat and she goes off to her class and I get into the pool to start my laps.

At the end of my first lap I was feeling ok and felt as though that amount of effort was adequate for my first lap. Sure I was starting to get tired, but what did I really expect. Anyway I get to the other end of the pool and I stop for a bit just to catch my breath when I hear “Are you tired already?” To myself I thought, “Who the fuck is that and who knows me well enough to sass me already?” I look up and it’s my wiener cousin. I tell her it has been many many years since I went to swim in a pool but in my mind I was saying “I’ll show you, you smarmy little shit!”

I turned and began swimming up the other end. Admittedly I put a little bit more effort than the first one.

Then another lap.

Slightly more tired now.

And then another.

I know, I’ll start swimming breast stroke. More than slightly tired now

And another. Even more than slightly tired now (looking back this is probably the understatement of the century)

At the end of this last lap, I am pretty frigging tired. I’m breathing pretty heaving, and my arms are pretty tired. I realise that my towel and everything was at the other end of the pool. And this point, friends, is where I start to almost die.

There are probably heaps of decisions that I regretted in my life, but this regret definitely rates pretty highly on the scale. I decide to swim one more lap. I think it was about half way through that lap of the 50 meter pool that I find that I’m wasn’t really moving forward as much as I thought. What I thought was real however was the rate that I was sinking further and further underneath the surface of the water. I didn’t quite panic just yet. I swam that another 10 meters when I thought I was at the spot where the pool was shallow enough for me to stand up. Turns out I find out two things. One: I’m not as tall as I thought. And two: the pool was way deeper than I thought. I hate to think what this looked like to an observer, but I’m pretty sure the thought of “Gee, never seen that stroke before.”

I was sinking/swimming desperately towards the end of the pool and the last 5 meters my feet finally touch solid ground. The edge felt so far away and my legs felt like lead. I reach the edge and lean on the edge. I think I sat there for about five minutes trying to catch my breath, but while I was there I swear a lady of what I guess to be 60 years old did about four laps. After seeing this I decide to get out of the pool. I try and lift myself out of the pool and I get half way and stop. I’m pretty sure I didn’t tell my muscles to stop. In fact, I’m sure I didn’t. So there I am, half hoisted at the shallow end of the pool. I realise I didn’t have the strength to get out of the pool, so in order to save my pride I pretended to decide not to get out of the pool and slowly lower myself back in. I stay there for another 5 minutes.

Whats worse in this situation is that the gym section of the recreation center has a glass wall where people in the gym can see out into the pool so the amount of people who saw me clawing for the edge of the pool would have doubled in number.

Now the lane that I was in was right in the middle of the pool. This meant that the steps on the side of the pool to get out was 4 lanes either way. So humiliation incident  number two of today was going underneath each of the lanes. It was like a very wet walk of shame

Ok. As promised here’s part two of How I Met Your Friends. My analogy kind of fell apart at the end of the first post, and the reasons for me pushing out a blog post that I myself aren’t happy with  are my own. So what I’m trying to do now is stretch it as much as I can to try and make it work.

So the last post I went through and talked about Sarahmey (Jeremy and Sarah) with them being the Marshall and Lilly of our group. Thats definately a clear case. But then I talked about John which doesn’t really fit into my analogy but bear with me, because John represents some part of the Barney of the group along with the combination of Mike, Tim, and Debari.

After thinking about it, (I know this will be a bit of a stretch) John is like Barneys pornography collection. Except Johns pornography is music. And vynil records. And information about bands that you haven’t heard of. John has spent so much money on records that if his collection was sold off he could probably buy his own african country.

Next up is Michael. He is by far, the most competitive board game player I have ever met. Pretty competitive in general and in all games pretty much. I wouldn’t quite call him “that guy,” as in that guy who tops everyones stories. But he would definately be “that guy” who argues whether a narwhal is a real animal or not (by the way, he thought it wasn’t real because he saw it on Futurama. Also just to remind everyone that they do exist. He goes to extraordinary lengths to prove he is right with the trusty use of his electronic information butler called his iPhone. He’s the part of Barney who will go to the ends of the Earth to find the Robin Sparkles video. But he’s also the part of Marshall who always wins game night.

I became friends with Tim about 2 years at university when I did a games project with Jeremy, John and Tim. If I was to stretch this analogy even further (which I am for the sake of this post!), I’d say Tim is the part of Ted with the know-it-all attitude and grammatical and pronunciation corrections.

Debari and myself are the part of Barney which is continuously inappropriate. Making inappropriate jokes in inappropriate situations is what we’ve done best.

Hrmm, as you can see, these analogies are getting shorter and shorter. I’ll probably try and rewrite this at another point but y’know what are you going to do!?