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The Presence of Swimming

I love the feeling of swimming laps  as I glide across the water erasing my busy thoughts as I focus on my breath and stride. The water lulls my aches and soothes my  spirit as I disappear into the water.

I push-off the wall, stretch out , rotating my arms,  relaxing, and  begin to count 1,2,3,4 breathe, 1,2,3,4 breathe, 1,2,3,4 breathe.

It’s the  of edge  of the pool that waits for me  to do my flip turn and push-off the wall –  1,2,3,4 breathe.

The last few weeks my knees have been disagreeable and I decided it was time to ease up on them by returning to the pool.  I have not swam laps for months and dreaded the thought of not being conditioned enough to swim without gasping for air.

I hopped into the fifty meter pool  awkward, unsure of myself, but pushed off the wall  gliding into a front crawl.

Every four strokes I would take a breath and count.

1,2,3,4 Breathe.

I made it half way before I was gasping for air.

I switched to a scissor kick and swam on my side to save my drowning face.

I gave myself a pep talk after reaching the other side of the lane.

You can do it! It has been a while but you know what to do!

I switched into a back stroke, catching my stride, my bathing suit had grown a size, and one of my lady parts started to fall out.

You have got to be kidding me!

Red in the face, I straightened up, and tightened my tankini top. I felt humiliated!

Damn it! I am going to swim for forty minutes even if it was going to kill me regardless of swimsuit malfunctions!

I switched back into front stroke finding my stride but my mind wandered from counting the breath. Again, at the three-quarter mark I had to switch to the scissor kick.

I reached the end of the lane and decided to focus on the butterfly as I slowly glided through the water.  I heard a splash from behind me and it was a man trying to pass me in his formidable front crawl.

Something competitive launched from within and I was not going to let that man pass me. I had pride. I use to be a strong swimmer.  I picked up my arms and immediately resumed into front crawl.

At this point it was a race and I was not to be defeated.

I found my rhythm, my breath fell into place, and I won!  I made it to the end of the lane pushing a good distance between the two of us. It was that moment I knew I could swim a whole lap and had  finally found my stride.

As I finished my last lap someone told me “You look very calming when you swim.” I blushed and clearly thought he must have been watching the wrong person reaching out for the edge of the pool. I was reminded that day that there is a reward when you force yourself out of your comfort zone.  It is in the movement of your stride, the perfect pace when everything falls into place, and the present moment which allows you to treasure your breath.

This post was inspired by Andra Watkins “A Change Would Do You Good” series.

Categories: swimming

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Darcie Cameron is a RYT 200 who believes Yoga is a gift that is accessible to everyone with proper modifications, a patient smile and just taking the time to breathe. One of the greatest presents you will ever unwrap is when you connect your mind, body and spirit in perfect sync with your own breath. Connect with Darcie on Facebook

25 replies

  1. I feel pushed out of my comfort zone pretty much every time I work with the weight machines at the gym, since the guys usually out number the girls in that area. Plus I have not done bench work since my late-teens, early 20s. Here’s to PUSHING that COMFORT ZONE and BEING AWESOME and AMAZING!!! Happy Weekend:)

  2. I love this post and that it was inspired by Andra. She inspires me a lot, too. I am also super impressed that you did the butterfly stroke. I just can’t do it. I tried most of my childhood but I never could do it well. Nice.

    1. I love Andra! She is one of my favorite bloggers and is consistently on top with her posts.

      Thanks! I love the butterfly and it use to be my favorite stroke. I use to be on the swim team in my youth and it always was a challenge in the competition.

  3. Whenever my knees start to ache, I turn to swimming too.
    well technically, my hubby calls it floating – because I don’t actually swim laps. I just go the deep end and float around; treading water. hubby laughs at my “excerice”.
    Until he joins me and realizes the hard truth: he sinks like a stone after 5 minutes.
    Ha. I can tread all day buster deadweight on the bottom! LOL

    1. Treading water is an excellent aerobic activity and I always do it when swimming with the kids. I just tread as they play and jump into the water. I am also a floater and my husband is envious about how well I float.

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