No matter how crazy and stressful things feel in the world, or in my life, at any moment, nothing resets the world right again like going for a swim.
As a long-time lap swimmer, one of my favorite moments of each swim is the initial lap, when I transform from a clumsy, awkward land dweller to a sleek, nimble water creature. As soon as I enter a body of water, my first move is to bounce a few times and then submerge myself, swimming underwater for as long as I can, before coming up for air. Once immersed, my body begins to loosen up, my spine undulating to power me through the water. My ears relax to listen to the soft, swishing sounds around me. Even a pool, which is a lot less interesting than natural bodies of water, still provides a soothing soundscape for my workout.
I relish the time I spend gliding beneath the water’s surface. Feeling the world around me, and my own inner monologues, instantly succumb to the soft muting the water provides. I instantly sync into my water rhythm, which now feels as natural to me as breathing on land. A lot of people tell me they get bored lap swimming, but it feels meditative to me. The steady pulsing of my arms and legs coordinating together with my breath to propel me through the water feels instinctual after so many years doing it.
After a swim, the world is set right again, as though I’ve hit a giant reset button. Problems are magically solved, I feel calm and ready to face the latest disastrous news, a long commute, or cranky, irritable people.
I’m definitely looking forward to the day when I can safely swim with AR (augmented reality) goggles to alter the pool into whatever scenery I want. Coral reefs (as they used to be before all the bleaching and climate change), Antarctic ice bergs with penguins darting around me, the lush underwater seascape of the Galapagos Islands, or a kelp forest teeming with otters.