On Swimming

As I am about to enter the pool I wonder, as I always do, how the water will feel.

Then: “Splash!”  I dive in at the deep end; it’s only 9 feet and I’m quickly at the bottom reaching it with my hands, I then quickly turn and place my feet where my hands were.   I am standing at the bottom and when I look up there are still bubbles surrounding my path of entrance.  I better get back up so  I bend my knees and push.   I get nice acceleration to help me back to the surface.  I will breach the surface and keep going until my shoulders break the surface also.  I wish I could keep going in to the air.  The rush of speed through the water and the distance covered so quickly makes me feel like I’m about to take completely into the air like Great White sharks do but it never happens;  it’s all over in mere seconds but those moments in the water make me feel and think like a kid but more on that later!

Back to the matter at hand: the water feels great; it’s not cold at all and I’m supposed to be doing laps so I swim from the diving area, a deep end cove of sorts, to the single lane that has been set up at my pool for laps.

The pool itself is a quit a bit short at 15m or so and it mean I’ll have to do more turns to reach my measly target of 600 to 800m.  I am slowly building up to doing at least 600m at a comfortable pace.   The next 200 meters to 800 will be added as time goes on.  Three summers ago I couldn’t even finish one lap without stopping or running out of breath and now shooting for 600m per session isn’t half bad.

So I check my goggles, stare down the lane and commit to a distance.  Six hundred meters sounds good; I submerge almost completely leaving the water line a little below eye-level.  I then extend my arms and point them forward, bend my knees and put my feet on the wall behind me and push against it and glide.

If I close my eyes for a second I feel like I’m flying freely, it’s the kid in me, again, telling me what to think.  Soon enough, reality kicks in: I need to take the first stroke.

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