I meant to go swimming almost weekly this year. I wanted to do the same last year. My therapist (who is no longer working with me – something about being short term only…) said she could get a free weekly pass to the community centre both last year (but I had no transportation) and this year (but she hasn’t talked to me since she offered.)
I wanted the free pass, but I didn’t get it. I could go for the Toonie swim, and did for three weeks straight in September/October, but I would be more likely to go with the pass.
Swimming is a good activity for me.
Though I am allergic to the chlorine and get rashes, and though I prefer to swim alone (I wouldn’t say the pool was crowded when I went, but there were people I had to swim around, and children who jumped in and splashed into my ears causing earaches) being in the water is calming enough that I am able to get through those things.
When I go swimming I:
- get out of the house
- do exercise
- quickly become calm
- feel good after
- am happy
- often sleep well after
All things my therapist told me I should be doing when she was talking with me.
But there are a lot of barriers to this activity for me.
First of all, I have to contact the Handy Dart bus service three days in advance to book my ride. I don’t know three days in advance if I am going to be functioning well enough to leave the home, so that makes this type of transportation pretty unpractical for me. I understand why they need that notice, but… it would be better if I lived on the bus route so I could take the ‘normal’ bus, or if I lived close enough to walk (as I did when I first moved to this town 17 years ago.)
It also means that I have to leave home. Even when I have access to a vehicle that I could use whenever I want, I struggle so much to leave the house most days that it really isn’t worth the insurance or maintenance costs. It worked when my Mom was here, but not when I am alone (my son likes to leave the house much less than I do.)
Then I have to get changed into my swim suit and get in the water – the thought of which makes me cringe until I actually get in the water.
Afterwards it is awkward to change because I am wet, and I have to take a longish shower to get the chlorine off so I am not itchy for the next few days. Even so I can still smell chlorine (I guess it gets in my nose) for a day or two after.
And then I have to get home again – also which needs to be booked.
Then, too, I didn’t mention that although swimming calms me, the thought of all these steps brings me to panic up until the moment I get in the water.
So I would love to go swimming, but it seems there is just too much standing in the way of me actually following through with the activity – much like many other things in my life. It just takes too much to get there.