Friday, April 24, 2009

A Chlorine Bath



Sometimes nothing is better for me than a swim. I grew up swimming on a swim team and after taking 7 years off swimming COMPLETELY, I got back into it because I was hit by a car on my bike and the physical therapist recommended that I swim. ARG, I thought. When I stopped swimming competitively after college, I had hung my swim suit up literally and figuratively. There was NO WAY I would ever swim again, or so I told myself. When the PT told me swimming would help my injuries, I quickly scuffed it off. But as my neck and back continued to be sore, I thought, well, it's summer, I could just jump in the lake and swim and see how that feels. By then end of the summer, I was swimming in the lake about 3 days a week. I told myself that this would have to do until next summer because there was NO WAY I'd swim in a pool ever again. But as the weather cooled off and the lake was much too cold to swim in, I found myself thinking about swimming more and more. I searched for public pools and found some lap swimming times and headed to the pool. Soon I began swimming 3-4 days a week and wondering why I had ever been so opposed to such a luxury. From there I went to swimming 5 days a week and meeting lots of people. Through these people, I discovered other sports as well and now I spend most my athletic time running. But I still swim and I still find it the most therapeutic thing I can do for myself.
Swimming brings me back to a neutral level where I feel I can start over in regards to my physical and mental being. I can feel beat up by running sometimes and cross-training. But when I get in the pool and swim, there is just nothing better for my body, mind and soul. Although I don't swim nearly as much as I used to, I still swim because my body and mind crave it. And each time I go, I always say to myself, I really should swim more, but then I don't. I am sure that once the coolest pool ever, Colman Pool, opens in May, I will swim more.
One of my favorite things to do is swim underwater. It's an entirely different medium. It's the best way to isolate myself and really feel like I am getting away in the pursuit of rejuvenation.
Yesterday I went swimming, and I swam underwater. I felt so refreshed afterwards and I slept like a rock. As Miwok approaches, there is nothing more I can do to get prepared physically. But the mental terrain still needs to be worked on. I've been worn out lately but thanks to that chlorine bath I had yesterday, I am mentally and physically rejuvenated and ready to tackle that mental terrain.
See how happy these swimmers are?

4 comments:

Tatyana said...

M'lady, I love swimming underwater too... I call it the Mermaid Swim and it's a place where all my dreams can come true--until I run out of breath.

Hallie said...

great post alm!! my personal fave is when you pretend you're a gymnast in the water. your sense of balance on that black line is impeccable!

ALM said...

Oh, I forgot to mention that Hallie, I am a superb gymnast in the water...

Hallie said...

"...superb gymnast in the water". "in the water" is the key part of that sentence!:-)