Swimming Zen.


@postaday 231; #postaday2011.

John is usually off Mondays, and when I got home last night his car wasn’t there. I got a text that he had taken Kid2 with him to run some errands. Kid1 was home convalescing. Bronchitis anyone? The classroom isn’t only an idea and dream incubator, it is also the great germ incubator.

I had to make a decision, and so I gave him a call and told him that I wanted to swim last night. The session was from 6:30-7:30, and it was more prep for ocean swimming. I knew he wouldn’t talk me out of it (he doesn’t talk me out of anything that remotely gets me in the direction of slender), but you know how it goes. You don’t just bail on family time. But I got the green light. Another thing John has learned is that workouts improve my outlook.

You know when  you’re running, or on the elliptical, or riding your bike or swimming,  and you’re moving along without pain, and you’re in this zone of nothingness and oneness and everything works correctly and  your heart and lungs and limbs and muscles and brain are busy doing their thing, and you’re possibly daydreaming, or, in my case, putting together a story? That place where you realize you’re part of the environment and cruising in the Zen?That place nearly like sleep? Unfortunately, I wake myself out of that with “OMG, I feel GREAT! This is fantastic!” And as i try desperately to hold onto that Zen, it becomes a greased rope and slips away. I’m learning to resist the excited and happy freak out and to relax into the swimming and riding, to retain that fleeting feeling.

Last night when we were in the pool, we’d get our orders to do 400 meters and I’d lose count and do 500. Then we’d be told to do two sets of 250 meters and I end up doing two sets of 300 meters. I couldn’t understand why I was the last to finish in my lane since I was the first to start and no one lapped me. One of the nice things about riding alone or doing my swims is that I’m not interested in keeping score. Your swimming style is different from mine. Your pace is, too. I can’t be bothered with matching anyone else stroke for stroke. And I think that is why I am achieving this floating zen, this connection with the water and the road, the emptying of my cares and worries.

Last night I could have done another thousand meters, but I knew I had to get home to the gang and to enjoy the dinner John had put together. When I got out of the van, wrapped in my damp towel, hair wet and body satisfied and tired, I could smell the fragrant chicken curry and brown jasmine rice. Life is no fairy tale. We had our share of strife last night because Kid1 is really cranky and under the weather, but life is what it is. You can put that love out there but the returns are never guaranteed.

There’s no point in being a vessel that holds tight to its cork, still and tight, dark and lonely.

By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.

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