Remember the Y as a kid? Friday night swims before pizza, or in my case an unfortunate hotdog dinner before a swim; pool parties, the way voices echo as though you’re in a cave. The familiar and strangely comforting smell of chlorine. I’m still working on New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe this is one. After swimming on New Year’s Day, I thought what a feat to swim every day of the new year, 365 days in a row! Already I’ve missed two. Or is that three? Not bad for a just-back-to-the-water gal who used laps to recover from a divorce. It’s been years now since I welcomed a pool back into my life.
The smell of chlorine is still a comfort. I still get that kick in the gut when another swimmer passes me—and I urge my legs to kick faster, my arms to reach further, faster.
Pre-Swim/Workout Banana Peanut Butter Shake
Before taking to the pool or working out in the morning, I love to sip this energizing shake. Actually, I’d exercise just to drink it. The idea and recipe came from Sarah (I’ll try to find her last name!), a young spunky trainer formerly of Focus Fitness in Boston. I usually drink it about a half hour before my activity or, if I’m crunched for time, en route to the workout.
1 ripe banana, preferably frozen (frozen is great because it tastes like a milk shake)
8 ounces soymilk
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon or more of cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla, optional
Break apart the banana and put pieces into a blender. Add soymilk, peanut butter and cinnamon. I usually put little over a teaspoon of cinnamon in. Add vanilla, if you’d like. It makes it slightly sweeter.
Blend until smooth.