Yes, I do feel all cool now (what, I wasn't cool before?) and I do feel more motivated to go to the pool to try them out and thus beat the inevitable winter inertia. But more importantly, new pool gear makes me want to do something different in my swimming.
New stuff gives me inspiration for interesting sets to plan for myself in the pool. Sure, I could get in and swim a hundred miles straight every time I get in, but, hellooooo, I would rather do multi-level story problems hanging from my toenails in Alcatraz. I am reminded of my least favorite set, courtesy of one of my high school swimming coaches, the late and beloved Howie Auer: 8 x 1000 freestyle. When he would write that on the board, I wanted to shoot myself with a water gun and sink to the bottom.
(I am not going to deny that I did not write all of his yearly sets down and predict when that set would occur and therefore skip practice on that day. I am not going to deny that at all. And I am not even going to deny sharing my list with my fellow teammates. And I am really not going to deny also going to the local ice cream shop (the inimitable Young's Dairy, can I get a witness!!?) and Glen Helen trails to frolic and enjoy the spoils of our supposed intelligence. Oops.)
Maybe it's my social-media induced short attention span, but nowadays when I plan a workout, I want FUN! I want different strokes, paces, strokes, breaths, etc, etc. And the swim research is showing that race pace training actually is more beneficial (fodder for another blog). So I guess if shaking things up with new paddles allows me to bury the water gun, I suppose I can part with a few bucks.