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Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Fins and the Art of Swim Kick Maintenance

By Clair Zarges of The Zees Go West


I am an amazing swimmer. There is little that I cannot do with a pair of noodles in a pool, as long as it is Olympic-sized and the noodle colors match my swimsuit.

Just the other day I discovered that I could attach one end of the noodle to the water outflow and cause the other end to squirt at my swimming partner, Auntie Bucksnort. This activity got us some swift attention from the lifeguard, who I know was secretly happy in her heart because during Old Ladies' Swim Hour there is hardly ever any discernible movement in the pool.

I owe the amaziness (sometimes real words just won't do) of my swimming to the fact that I share the same "built for swimming" body style with Michael Phelps, except that I don't have those sticky-outy ears. Well, my arms are a bit shorter than his. That's a good thing, since I am 5'1" and shrinking, and having Phelps-length arms would give a whole new meaning to the phrase "knuckle dragging."

Michael and I both have a short femur-to-body-length ratio, which I understand is indispensable to competition swimmers. As a matter of fact, I overheard that big guy at physical therapy, where I was getting used to my recently installed and almost paid-for knee, mutter to a co-worker, "She's got no femur at all," which I took as a great compliment.

Michael and I have practically the same trunk, except that mine is a bit more truncated and is - well, trunkier. A lot of this is due to Bucksnort and her insistence that fresh donuts administered immediately are the perfect antidote to physical exercise.

Where Michael and I differ in swimming style is in the kick. Simply put, Michael's kick propels him in a forward direction and most speedily. On the other hand, my kick, delivered with the very same motion as Michael's, propels me backwards with not so much speed. I've analyzed it, thought about it in the middle of the night and I've even changed noodle colors but, there it is, the world's first backward swim kick.

August 2008 007

After observing my young relative, Toots, running through the sprinklers with great dash and style the other day, I've decided that adopting at least part of his aquatic outfit might help with my propelling issues.

So, I've bought myself a pair of fins. They are diving fins, the only ones that were on sale, and this worries me a bit. If I can get them to stay on top of the water (I think that Old Ladies' Swim Hour has a rule about keeping your hairdo dry) instead of wanting to dive to the bottom, I believe that I'll finally and completely own the Phelps swimming style.

[EDITORIAL NOTE: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. Instructions are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Clair - You are an 'amazingly' funny writer!

I can not get over the image of you, your auntie Bucksnort (that can't be her real name), your fins, your noodles, and your fellow 'Old Ladies Swim Hour' buddies flailing around in that pool!

I'm laughing so hard I'm crying!

Oh, this is just hilarious. Great writing and such fun to read. Thank you for a laugh today, Clair.

hey, clairzie, I'm at my sunday am job at the desk at the sports center where i take old lady water aerobics and your blog is keeping me company. Do you get a notice if I comment on old posts? I, too bought myself cheap, child sized swim fins and a mask and snorkel..really makes the school kids laugh when they see me swimming "way out" at Lake Lashaway!

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