Thursday, July 11, 2013

Polar-Bear Plunges in Mid-July? For GrandPop Bear, Sure!


The tradition started last fall when I had just started pedaling the exercise bike in the workout room. Grandkids Hannah and Grayson dialed me up to convince me to go swimming instead. We had the entire community pool to ourselves, and it is huge! Summer weather had passed, the sun was about to go down, and a breeze was blowing. Never mind the chill. I could put a big check mark by "exercise" on my to-do list for the day. I thought to myself: It sure beats pedaling an exercise bike to nowhere, which is kind of like traveling the bridge to nowhere.

Thus was born the family tradition of the polar-bear swim. And now, for me, it continues in mid-July, thanks to the Grands' love of a late-day swim. But how, you may ask, can it be a chilly splish-splash after a 90-degree day has been heating the pool? All I can say is that for me it is, when the sun is down at the western horizon and a sea breeze starts stirring. Maybe my blood is still a little thin from the April surgery, when I had some blood loss but no transfusion. I am making sure my multivitamins include iron, and am striving to eat iron-rich foods like lean meat and spinach. For whatever reason, I start feeling chilled after 30 to 40 minutes. I do put that time, when the water still feels warmish, to good use -- flexing the surgically replaced knee, my latest bionic part. (I am known as BionicBob in some circles.)
    Grandpop Polar Bear After His Swim

Of course, the Grands are not chilly in the least, nor do they really want to leave before the10 p.m. closing time. They both swim like playful dolphins, and love also to get out of the water and jump back in. I am glad they are avid swimmers. Without a doubt, it is A-plus excellent exercise, either as a nice change of pace or as a daily routine. I am kind of wondering how Pop-Pop and the Grands will fare in their polar-bear swimming when the evening temps get down in the 50s in September and October, though. It seems that GrandPop Bear is going to have to do some serious training building up his blood and body to handle chilly exercise. And no that doesn't mean adding more blubber. He already has plenty of that.

      © Robert G. Holland   2013



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