I decided this year that I was going to try and do one cool thing a month throughout 2020. It’s mid-February and I have already done 2 things! Let me walk you through it. Firstly, my definition of “cool” could mean anything. Anything unusual or different that I either haven’t tried before, or something I wanted to try again, but in an usual way OR for a specific reason.
In January I decided to go Swimming. This is cool for me as it’s something I have always loved doing it, but only ever seem to do it when I am holiday. I am also not a natural exerciser and with my weight creeping up, I thought I would perhaps go for a swim and see how it felt.
I actually live within a 3-minute drive of a municipal swimming people, so I really didn’t have far to go at all. I went along and the staff on reception gave me a good welcome and were happy to show me around. I have to be honest and say that the facilities for changing were dreadful. The pool has a gym attached to it and that has just had a brilliant re-furb and looks amazing, but the facilities for pool users are dire. For the women, it’s just a tiled room with pegs on the walls. There is one long communal shower and NO cubicles for changing or toilets within the changing room. Right outside the changing rooms is a corridor with lockers and benches for various parents to wait. So I had to walk past all these people to a very public locker, which I had to pay for! I wasn’t impressed, but hopeful that the pool was better.
As I walked into the pool, I realised it was a windowless and therefore not dark, but certainly not light room. I walked down the length of the pool , past a swimming lesson full of small children, to hear “Auntie Gill!!!!”.
I looked around and spotted our youngest neice and brother-in-law in the pool! She seemed double chuffed to see me and I spent the next 10 minutes happily hearing about her day and how much she thought I looked like my sister, her mum. Delightful.
After that, I just did a bit of swimming and it occurred to me for the hundredth time that even though I can swim, my technique is rubbish. We will come back to that another time.
But one extra bonus cool thing that happened, was that I used my Apple Watch to measure my swimming exercise. It’s waterproof provided me with some brill swimming data!
Overall though, I did have a fab swim and was really pleased with myself for giving it a go. Go me!
In February, I decided to do something I have NEVER tried before. I follow an actress/singer/author on social media called Carrie Hope Fletcher and she recently went “floating”. This a sensory deprivation experience, where you float in some warm water in a pod. It sounds odd but intriguing right?!
A quick google told me that my closest Floating experience was at Zero Gravity Float Spa in Altrincham here:
It was £65 for 2 people for a 1 hour float. This gave us a 90 minute appointment, free towels, ear plugs, private shower and use of a styling room, with hairdryers, free products and straighteners if required.
Again, the welcome we got was great. To be dead clear (I know you are wondering), M and I were in seperate pods. They recommend this as it’s easier to relax and the pods arent QUITE big enough for two people.
The good thing about this experience is that you are in complete control at all times. Your options are:
- Swimming Costume OR naked
- Light on OR off
- Pod lid open OR closed.
- Music on OR off
I went in naked (why not eh) and started off with lights off. I chose to have the music off, but this means that they play 5 minutes of music at the beginning as an intro and reintroduce the music, 5 minutes at the end.
I have to say that I didn’t find the whole thing super relaxing. I just couldn’t seem to surrender myself to the experience. The Epsom salts do mean that you entirely float and the staff give you a polystyrene halo to support your head a little. I used it, but I honestly don’t think it was necessary.
I go to sleep every night listening to podcasts and this sends me to sleep within 10 minutes without fail. So I think for my float experience, I definitely should have kept the music on. I also think that a whole hour was too long for my first go as I had had enough after about 40 minutes and I got out at 50 minutes. But M had a great experience and seemed to be able to relax much better than I did – which is odd as it’s usually the other way around!
A few days later as I write this post there have definitely been some after effects that we hadn’t anticipated from our float experience.
Firstly, when we went to bed the night of the float, we were both shattered and slept like babies. This also last a couple of days afterwards too.
Secondly, our muscles ached and we aren’t sure if this was float induced? We definitely floated, but the person at Zero Gravity did say that certain positions can strain your muscles.
Thirdly… M wore his swimming shorts and when we got home, he left them over the bath to dry. When we checked on them later that night, we found rock sold, stiff as a board shorts – salt x swimming shorts apparently wasn’t a good mix!
So would I do it again, hmm maybe. I think I wasn’t relaxed enough to start off with, to being told to instantly relax was too hard for me, a bit like forced fun. But I reckon if I was on holiday and there was a floatation pod, I would give it another go.
Still onwards to March…..