So there I was, almost 8 weeks post partem, giving swimming a go for the first time since the Kelvin Grove State High Grade 8 swimming carnival (pretty much)...
I rock up to The Bay Health Club in my newly acquired speedos, goggles, and a swimming cap I would later find was too small for my enormous 'Dean head' (sorry 'bout that Otis)...
I have never been a swimmer for fitness. The thought of wearing togs always put me off. But there I stood in my thigh length speedos (discreet!) practically looking like an Olympic swimmer after emerging from a long...long Winter hibernation. It didn't matter that I couldn't really swim, just that I looked the part. Right?
The only lane free?
The fast lane, of course.
I slip myself into the deep end, awkwardly treading water as I try to fit my goggles over my enormous uncapped head. Shit, it's cold. The only stroke I feel comfortable attempting first off is breaststroke and even then I find myself in a mild to moderate panic. Is it the cold water? My asthma? Or the fact I haven't swum since the 90s?
So, there I am. Almost drowning in the f**king fast lane. To my left is Leisel Jones... to my right...Ian Thorpe (basically). Buns as tight as my violin strings. Gliding past me like a pair of f**king dolphins.
But I keep on going....keep flailing about...one crooked stroke at a time...
Living life in the fast lane. Just really, REALLY slowly.
Emma Dean is a Brisbane/Meanjin-based creative coach, musician, writer, composer, arranger, dreamer and choir mama.