Yesterday marked my first workout swim of the summer season.
An entire mile, with cool water enveloping my tired limbs. It made me feel so at home.
I grew up with swimming. I competed, I trained, and my dad was one of my swim coaches. Now, before you get all crazy about “Hollywood parent” ideas – my dad was himself a competitive swimmer, and trained the Canadian Olympic team’s coaches. He loves swimming. As his daughter, I was thrown into the pool. The only time this was truly problematic was when he was one coach, and a RETIRED NAVY SEAL was the other coach. Holy Hell, were those ever some tough swim practices. 🙂
Oftentimes, I feel awkward in real life, and much more “natural” on the page (or screen, as the case may be). The same applies to my athleticism: I can get pretty clumsy on dry land, even though I’m a distance runner. Once I get in the water, I’m in my element.
This does present some unique challenges, of course. First of all, my brca1 means I’m at a high risk for melanoma. So, not only do I slather on a 1 inch thick layer of sunblock, I also wear SPF swim gear – long sleeves, long swim shorts. I am waiting for someone to market a “swim burqa” because I will be signing up for one, just to increase my safety. Second of all, there’s a distinct lack of socializing here. My kids will swim a mile with me. It takes a lot longer because they like to have 10 minute analytical conversations between laps. Haha. Third of all – I am BEYOND SCARED of what is in the ocean with me. So, I swim in pools and the occasional lake. Provided the lake is not fed by an inlet from the ocean, so I don’t have to worry about Bull Sharks. You may think I am exaggerating my phobia here, but I promise you I’m not.
Maddie isn’t a water baby, and Moses is. Maddie is all sprints and brute strength, while Moses is all endurance athletics. The hardest part about getting them to swim with me is convincing my daughter that we are NOT racing. In her mind, the mile ought to be completed in MAYBE 15 minutes flat. That pace is not sustainable, or even possible. So, there are days when Maddie will get such a lactic acid build up that she needs to stop – otherwise she will throw up.
I’m so immensely grateful for my respite from being a land mammal yesterday. I was cradled and invigorated and energized. Give me water, and I’m nurtured.
Blessings to you all…