Monday, August 24, 2015


The meditative nature of swimming laps has an almost addictive quality, prompting me to visit the pool habitually in search of its relaxing yet energising benefits.

The Fitzroy Pool has a beautiful outdoor pool that is heated to around 27 degrees. A temperature that is cold initially, but warm enough so you don't totally freeze and enjoyable once you've acclimatised to it and swum a few laps.  With its iconic AQUA PROFONDA (deep water) mural and signage, even emblazoned at the bottom of the pool viewable whilst swimming, Fitzroy may well be one of the most distinctive swimming pools in Melbourne. The pool is even ostensibly paid homage to in a Courtney Barnett song, "Aqua Profonda".

In the deep winter months only the most dedicated are brave enough to swim outdoors, and it is nice to share the pool with less people, the sanctuary of the water much warmer than the cold winter air. I love the feeling of weightless when you first immerse yourself in the water, dunking your  head underneath and seeing nothing but the blue pool tiles at the bottom as your body propels you through the water. It is an isolating but tremendously refreshing experience. There are no music players, blaring television screens or treadmills slowly counting the minutes  to distract you, but purely your thoughts and your will power to push you to complete lap after lap.

It allows me to think uninterrupted without distraction, and as such I find it cathartic experience that allows me to work through any issues or problems that are on my mind. I also like sharing the experience with friends, looking laughably unattractive in our bathers, goggles and swim caps, swimming laps and then chatting or siting peacefully in the sauna, spa or steam room depending on our preferance.

Although high paced cardio may burn more calories, the effects of swimming on the entire body and mind are unparalleled. Toning the entire body and much less strenuous on the body than running, swimming is an activity that in comparison with somewhat tedious gym work, I actively look forward too.