Every day I am going to swim I have to be sure that I have a swim suit, cap, goggles, towel, shampoo, and conditioner in the car. Usually I have most of this stuff and just need to throw in a fresh towel and possibly a dry swim suit.
When I get to the gym I have to find a locker, take off my coat, shoes, and socks, and put them in there. Add my glasses. Take off my clothing and pack it into my bag, put on my swim suit. Then I take the bag, goggles, cap, and towel with me to the shower. I rinse off completely and put my cap on my wet hair (a step the dry-hair swimmers do not take, obviously). I learned when my children were on the swim team that hair doesn't get damaged if you get it wet first. It soaks up the clean water and hasn't room for the chlorinated water.
I put on my cap. Lately I've been wearing my bright yellow silicone hat because I lost both of my lycra caps. Silicone lasts longer but it's a nuisance to put on thick longish hair like mine, wet or not. I towel off my head a bit, then put on my goggles, grab my towel and bag, and head for the pool.
If I'm lucky, I get a lane right off. I leave my bag and towel on the deck, duck under lane lines to get to mine, again if I'm lucky. I prefer lanes away from the stairs.
Finally I can start swimming.
When I am done swimming, I duck under lane lines, watching for oncoming swimmers, and get out of the pool. I shower, wash and condition my hair, rinse my suit. I towel off in the shower. I also change there. There are five showers and I have never seen them all full at the same time, so there is no problem making someone wait. I make my way from the shower to the little swim suit water-remover. This is a little gadget that is similar to a dryer except it just wrings the suit of its big wetness, in five seconds. The suit is still damp but isn't dripping when done.
I take the suit, my bag, and wet towel, and find a place in the locker room to sit while I put on my shoes and run a comb or brush through my wet hair. I have a favorite location there, but it is favored by others as well. It's a higher bench in front of a mirror, with a counter, so one can sit on the bench, use a hair dryer, do makeup or whatever. I like it because the bench is higher so it is more comfortable for knee-challenged me. I also like that i can place my bag on the counter instead of the floor.Sometimes I simply don't relish reaching for things on the floor. It can be uncomfortable. I usually use it only for a few minutes, just to dry off my feet and put on my shoes and socks. Then I'm done. I take my coat and glasses out of the locker and get outta there. Others can spend weeks in front of that mirror, hogging the whole counter while they are at it. I feel resentful when I see this but remind myself that it is my wanting that is the problem. It is always that.
It is a relief to walk out. It feels like so much work, and I don't mean just the swimming. That part might be the easiest.