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Getting Back to the Pool Post Covid

Bibi Haneeza Said Akbar

After an almost 3 months hiatus from being in the pool due to the pandemic circuit breaker, I decided to  booked a slot to swim at 8.30 pm at Yishun Pool. You need to do that via the ActiveSg App. I was nervous excited the whole day, kept looking at the time and the work that I still had to complete before I move off to the pool. I started stretching every once in a while, the body is excited yet nervous at the thought of going back into the water, so we have to get it ready properly.

Reached the pool, which is 10 minutes away from my home at 8pm. Was so early but I would encourage you to be early too. There is a registration process at the entrance. After that, I chatted with the lifeguards about classes etc to while the time away. I'd suggest you to start doing your stretches while waiting instead.

Once it was 8.30 pm, they let us in and I was in the water at 8.35pm. The deep pool was segregated to 3 big lanes and the lifeguard told me that 8.30 pm is the least crowded compared to 6.30 and 7.30 pm, so you may want to consider that when you book your slot.

I had told myself to stay in the side lane but as there were already some guys in both sides, I decided to go to the centre, all the time convincing myself, its okay. I've got this. And proceeded to swim ever so slowly. My body felt soo good to be in the water again. I was just focusing on stretching myself in the water. It's good to be home again, said the mermaid in me. The pain in my knee which has been causing me to hobble past few days miraculously disappeared. Its as if all my muscles had a chance to stretch and align. MashaAllah. How I've missed it.

By 9.15pm, the lifeguard made an announcement and started to signal us to get out of the water. I was contented with my 22 laps. It was good to just be back and the only stroke I didn't swim was butterfly. Lets leave that to another day. I really hope to get this down as a regular workout because its so obvious my body was craving for it.

If you are planning to hit the pool soon, my tips would be :-

(1) Start stretching a few hours before you actually go.
(2) Be early as they don't allow you to stay back after your actual slot. As I mentioned, my booking for 8.30 pm was cut short at 9.15pm. That was only 45 minutes and I was in the water for only 40 minutes.
(3) Don't forget to rinse yourself before you enter the water.
(4) Stay either in the teaching pool or if you want to go to the deep pool, take the side lanes. This is just as a precaution in case you start cramping or panicking midway.
(5) Go slow, and don't count laps. I had initially told myself not to count, but i ended up doing it, just to see if my heart would beat faster.
(6) And don't stress about it if you can't get much done. Getting back in the water is a start, you can build up your stamina and speed as you progress.
(7) Start with breaststroke first (sequnce KICK-BUBBLE-PUSH!) and if you are going to do freestyle, remember to do by stage, ie. the flutter kicks first, then side flutter, then the full stroke.
(8) Remember to have fun, laugh at yourself if you make a mistake. The best part about this whole situation is there is very few people around you and they are all so focused on making their time count that they probably are clueless about their surrounding or what everyone else is doing.

Hope you found this helpful and remember to take it one step at a time while maintaining all precautions for safe distancing.  Enjoy your swim!