I’d forgotten. I’d forgotten how much I love the feeling of sliding (splashing) into the water, letting it close over my head, the muffled sounds of everything else in life going soft and padded. I’d forgotten how much I love the buoyant feel of being supported by the water, the way I feel weightless, not heavy, not clumsy, but light, free, held, surrounded. I’d forgotten how much I love the smell of a swimming pool, and how much deeper I breathe when I’m in the rhythm of swimming laps. I think my blood pressure went down 20 points just getting wet!
The pool, just a few blocks from my house, was newly refurbished last year. The area where they swim is 40 yards long, crosswise of the official lanes, so you have to try to find some “landmarks” on the pool bottom to keep your “lane”. Oddly, when I’m in the water with goggles, I can see quite clearly, so this was no problem.
My welcome was much heartier than the first time I swam with this group. I had emailed with 1 woman and she was there before me, waiting for the lifeguard. It was nice to have made some kind of contact beforehand. I filled out the necessary paperwork and went right in. It was 5:30 am and the sun was just trying to peek up over the horizon, not quite at tree level. The water, though cool, was warmer than the air and my quick plunge was not shocking. One length up and back to get the feel of it, then on with the goggles and off I went.
It was like I had last swum the day before. The rhythm came back, the stroke came back, the breathing came back. I swam 400 yards, feeling delicious all the way. I stopped there so I could gauge how long it would take for me to get home and get ready for work. I took 2 final lengths, doing backstroke to loosen my shoulders, and saw the darkening moon in the sky as the sun hit the treetops and the birds sang to us while we swam. It was perfection. Thursday, I think I will be able to swim more. I hope to be back up to a mile by the end of summer, when they start swimming indoors, and go from there. I’ll work on endurance over the winter and next summer, hopefully be able to find some places for open-water swimming and give that a shot.
I’m doing this. I’m actually doing it.
Tomorrow – early morning bike ride.