In Defense of Pool Toys

I’ll be the first to admit that when I walk onto the pool deck, I’m easily identifiable as a triathlete. Why?

 

My gear bag consists of the following:

 

*Pull Buoy

*Lava Pants

*Three sets of hand paddles

*Snorkel

*Band

*Fins

*Some other contraption that I don’t even think has name

*Occasionally a GoPro

 

Ha ha, snicker snicker.

 

As an adult onset swimmer or “triathlete swimmer”, I love these toys. I love them because they make my swims less boring (or one might say more exciting)…and better yet, less likely to drown during a swim workout.  By having these tools in my gear bag, I am more likely to keep going back to the pool and attempt to put in some moderate yardage on a regular weekly basis.

 

This past January alone, I put in more yards in the pool than I did for the first 100 days of 2014. Heck, I even entered a swim meet and posted PRs in every event that I entered (50, 100, 200, 500 SCY). Swimming six times a week now feels like I’m slacking. Seven days a week or bust!

 

Without having my little bag of tricks to empty on to the pool deck for every workout, I probably would be laying in bed more often thinking “I’ll swim tomorrow morning instead.” So even though there's the possibility that they aren't doing a lick of good from a technique standpoint, they do make my swims go by more quickly, make them more enjoyable, make me want to go to the pool on a regular basis, make me swim more yards...which in the end, is a good thing. 

 

So before you look at me and laugh for what I’m “wearing” in the pool, I <am> getting faster, I <am> getting in significantly more yardage than ever, I <am> swimming very frequently. So at least recognize that I’m there making an effort to improve, regardless of what “rules” I might be breaking in the process.

 

What about you? Are you a "triathlete swimmer" or a "real" swimmer? What's in your gear bag? Favorite tool/toy?