Groucho Marx once said to a tennis club representative when he wanted to cancel his membership, “I Don’t Want to Belong to Any Club That Will Accept Me as a Member”. I love that quote. And yet, I’ve just joined a club that without hesitation let me in. A club called My An Sport Center. The membership fee for a month is just shy of $50 and includes the pool, gym, all Yoga sessions (5/day) and Zumba classes and a steam room.
I’ve been told that the vast majority of Vietnamese adults can’t swim. Which makes sense. For folks in developing countries, learning how to swim is probably considered a relatively useless skill that most can’t afford even if they understood the benefits. Yesterday it was a fellow from Florida and today I shared the entire pool with a Brittish gentleman. I swam intensely for 30 minutes and left the club feeling invigorated and hungry as a wolf. At first, I was a little hesitant about swimming in a public pool which was likely saturated with chlorine, as opposed to more preferable saltwater pools and even those cleaned with Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). But I can deal with it, as long as it’s outdoors, where I don’t have to both swim in – and breathe in – chemicals.
As much as I feel mindful, focused and relaxed after a session of Yoga, Qigong and more recently, Tai Chi, I don’t get in nearly as much cardio as I know I need when compared with just 30 laps – alternating between freestyle (crawl) and breaststrokes. Where my shot knees keep me from jogging and more recently surfing, I feel no pain whatsoever while swimming.
As a young teen, I competed for the West Hollywood Park Swim Team (today called the Aquatics) and despite my zodiac sign being closer to Leo than Pisces, I’ve always felt a deep, emotional and physical tie with water. Regardless of activity.