January 16, 2011

Earplugs For Swimming

I hate getting water in my ears. In fact it's worse than that, it's almost a phobia. Some people are afraid of spiders, bowling balls, heights, or crab grass. For me it's water in the ear. I used to swim all the time. But that was way back in grade school and back then I nearly never got water in my ears. Then I sort of stopped swimming for several years. Ok, decades. Then a few years ago I tried swimming freestyle again and BAM, water in the ear on the first stroke. After spending 15 minutes smacking my head to get the water out I figured it was a fluke and tried again. BAM, more water in the ear. So what's the solution? Side stroke, or doggy paddle. Well, that worked until I decided to start trying triathlons. I'm no expert, but I'm sure that doggy paddling at a triathlon would be a bit impractical.
This winter I started swimming with purpose and that meant freestyle. So, I went down to REI and picked up some earplugs. They were little silicon blobs (left in picture). These worked pretty well except that sometimes they leaked and once one leaked, even a little, it was all over. They don't seem to reseal to your ear once they get wet. So, I went online and picked up two more types of earplugs. They just arrived, so now I'm dorking out running around the house with earplugs in. huh?? what?? Can't wait to test drive these in the pool on Monday. I almost thought about wearing them in the shower to see how well they do, but I think I can wait until Monday.

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