Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Making Peace With the Water

I was 57 years old when I began teaching myself to swim correctly. Until then I was just a water plodder, afraid to get my head in the water too much while I was swimming. Now, swimming is one of my favorite things to do. Oh, it is not so great at a 20 yard long pool, sharing a lane with a couple people, but out on the open water, maybe with a little chop on the water, swimming can really get into me. Most of the time vision is limited and there is an element of movement by feel that transcends everyday activities. When I hear folks say that the swim is the scariest portion of a triathlon, it sounds a little strange now.

My open water swims are done in this small lake at a state park. I have all the water to myself, and there is no motor boat traffic. Generally, I swim non-stop for forty minutes to an hour, swimming from one end of the lake to the other, and I never fail to leave the lake with a smile. I have made peace with the water and the water makes peace within.