Equipment for Swimming

Wednesday 7 January 2015 by

Prescription goggles, Swimming, Fitness, HoBFitness, Triathlon, Amazon

I am not a swimmer. I actually really dislike swimming. For a variety of reasons – I don’t like getting changed, I don’t like trying to dry off when you’re done, and how difficult it is to get dressed when you’re still slightly damp and the floor is wet, I don’t like the way pools get crowded and you have to try to fight for a lane. But most of all, I hate not being able to see.

I wear glasses that are pretty strong. My eyesight isn’t dreadful, but to give you an idea – when I haven’t got my glasses on, if I put my Kindle font size up to the maximum it will go, I still have to hold it close to my face to be able to read it comfortably. When I don’t wear my glasses, colours start to bleed into each other, and I have trouble distinguishing where the edges of things are. I cannot pick out faces, or even identifying markers on people.

Which is all very well, because I have glasses, and as long as I wear them I’m fine. Except, I hate wearing my glasses in the swimming pool. Part of this is paranoia – if they fall of my face, there’s no way I’ll be able to find them on the bottom of the pool. Even if I could see, that would be difficult, given their size and the distorting water. I know if I lost my glasses, I would have to rely on the kindness of strangers to have a hope of finding them again. And the thought of that makes me feel very vulnerable. I don’t ever really get into swimming when I do go, because I’m worrying the whole time about my glasses.

My mother, who’s doing the triathlon with me, is flat out afraid of drowning, so between us, we have some issues!

Only increased confidence in the water will take away Mum’s fear, but for me, being ready for the swimming challenge was about preparation. My sister told me about prescription goggles, so I investigated and got myself a pair.

They were surprisingly inexpensive. I spend upwards of £100 on glasses, but the goggles were less than a tenner – prices varying depending on prescription. For the ones I got (here on Amazon) you could only pick one strength of prescription for both eyes. Which wasn’t great for me, because I have one eye vastly worse than the other, but it wasn’t about getting perfect 20/20 vision. It was about making me able to see comfortably enough.

I chose a prescription closer to my worse eye and found that, though my vision was no where near perfect when wearing them, it was at least good enough to be comfortable, and more importantly confident to go in the water.

So, kitted out with the prescription goggles and a new swimming costume picked up in the sales, I headed off for my first lesson.

It was definitely a much more enjoyable experience that I was expecting. Under the patient tutelage of a friend who was coaching us, Mum and I made great progress. Having the goggles made a massive difference to my confidence, and helped with the technique for doing front crawl – something I’ve never been able to do before. By the end of the hour, I was able to swim half a length of front crawl, and with further work on my breathing technique, I’m confident I’ll be able to do the required eight lengths by the end of the month.

You can follow Loralei on Twitter: @LAHaylock

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1 Comment

  1. I bought prescription goggles when I joined the gym and started swimming, and I feel so much more confident in them! I’m quite a strong swimmer, but I do find it helps a lot when I’m getting towards the end of the lane – I’m so blind without them that I can’t see the end of my own arms and they’ve prevented a few bruises as I’m not ploughing into the wall anymore!

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