Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Revenge of the Swim Cap

On November 3rd, 2011 I wrote a break up blog. I wrote about the end of a rather short-lived and volatile relationship. One that we both tried to make work but we just could not find a way to overcome our differences.

Oh, and this is probably a good time to mention that I hated him with a passion. That probably didn't help.

A relationship that, after a 15-month hiatus, I've decided to take up again.

That's right my friends, me and my swim cap are going to give it another go.

This is not something I've taken on lightly (or willingly to be honest). I don't expect it to work out in the long run but perhaps we can survive long enough to build some sort of connection.

See, I got my hair cut last week and, while it is still long enough to go into a ponytail, some of the layers are a little shorter than normal and they fall out when I'm swimming...which is really really annoying.

So I decided to whip out the ol'swim cap for a few weeks until the layers grow out enough to stay put.  Which goes to tell you how annoying the hair in my face really is because swim caps rank pretty high on my list of things I dislike.

Swim caps are just below cod tongue on my dislike list.

I arrived at the pool on Monday morning with my pink swim cap. The one I got when I did the Grimsby triathlon last summer. I proceeded with my normal routine of taking a shower and wetting my hair with fresh water. I then added a bit of conditioner to protect it from the chlorine and tied it back into a bun.

I walked out to the pool, slid into the water and started pulling on my swim cap.

"You're wearing a bathing cap?" asked Christine. "That's so wonderful".

"I hate them" I replied (which is a rather strong word but I didn't know if she'd understand my level of dislike if I simply said "they're almost as bad as cod tongue").

"Oh no, they're great!" said every happy Christine.

I mumbled a few more things and headed off to swim - feeling ridiculous and feeling the need to explain to everyone that my hair was falling out of my ponytail. Like I had somehow failed as a swimmer because I succumbed to the swim cap. Which makes no sense because everyone else, including several of the boys, wear them.

Two things happened in the pool that morning.

1. We worked so hard that I was too busy being exhausted to even notice the swim cap.

2. I set a new record in the pool for my 100m sprints. I usually swim 100m in about 1:45. On Monday morning we had to swim 10x100m. Nine of them were under 1:42 and four of them were 1:39. The last one was 1:44 but I was totally spent by that point.

Why was I so fast? Perhaps I was rested and raring to go after a weekend away...or perhaps my swim cap made my head more aerodynamic and shaved seconds off my time.

I don't want to speak too soon but maybe, just maybe, he and I will be able to find a way to work through our differences...


  1. I've been wearing a swim cap--which I really think should be called a "swim toque" in Canada--for the last two years or longer, and I can't imagine swimming without one now. The swimming feels better to me with it on.

    The key for me is the cap's material. Latex pulls a lot, even for people with shorter hair for me. If you have latex cap--which you'll know because it feels the kind you get at a triathlon, go to your local sporting goods store and buy a *silicone* one right away. They're so much more comfortable! I like the ones by Speedo


    I've never worn a swim toque because I'm not a swimmer but I would imagine I would have the same sort of hatred you have. Though cod tongue definitely ranks as way worse. gag-inducing.

  3. I agree with Jeff on the type you get. I have quite long hair and when I started swimming I purchased one from my pool and it was latex. After one swim I was so enraged with it I actually tore it in half :) About a year later I invested in a silicone cap and now could not imagine swimming without it. Not sure if it is in our heads, but I think it makes us a little faster.