Monday, 2 September 2013

mouth wide open
























(© Chris M.C Mclaughlin)

I always swim with my mouth wide open. I don't know why. I just always have I guess.
As I'm swimming along, I open my mouth and let it fill with the water streaming by. I then close my mouth - full with chlorinated pool water - purse my lips and spit it back out (as though I was spitting water across the table at a "dinner party" (long story)). I'll do this the whole time I'm in the water - whether that be 10mins or 60mins+ -  it's just part of my technique. I'm like an amputee octopus ejecting water in an attempt to propel myself forwards. But at no point - when I'm in the pool - do I think about it or about what is going in and out of my mouth.

The water is full of chlorine - you don't particularly want to swallow that - so hopefully any germs in the pool are killed off before entering my mouth. At this point I want to say that I never swallow the water, just play with it in my mouth. But it's not very nice and away from the pool I sometimes find myself thinking about all the things that could be floating/lurking about in the pool, that quite possibly make there way into my mouth. I know I lose a fair amount of saliva and snot when I'm swimming and when I think about what might go into my mouth when I'm swimming the first thing that comes to mind is: other peoples urine! We all know swimming pool etiquette. We know how gross it is too be swimming around in each others urine but I also know that most of you reading this will probably have wee'd in a swimming pool at some point of your life. I honestly can't remember having ever done it but I reckon I must have at some point!

And the thing is. It's my own fault. I'm the one letting the water into my mouth but even if it's not in my mouth, even if the chlorine does a good job of killing most of the germs, even if urine is sterile and won't do you much harm. The fact that it's in the water around you is bad enough and it's real easy to accidentally swallow some water - especially when you're tiring - and so regardless of  whether it's in your mouth or not and however it found it's way in there. Nobody wants to be swimming around in somebody else's urine; it's liquid excreted from another persons bits and nobody wants to be swimming around in that. Well there probably are those that do but there are probably special clubs and websites and stuff for them. Lets keep the local swimming pools clean :).

So the next time you're in a swimming pool and you have the urge to wee. Please think twice about it. I know it's a hassle to get out, wee and get back in but think about your fellow swimmers because if you do wee in the pool - it might just end up going in their mouth. 

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