Friday, February 23, 2007

Eat, Sleep, Swim



Some people don't understand why I (we) get up at 5:15 am to jump in and swim for an hour before the sun is up (it's effin' cold and dark!). For me though, it's as natural as eating and sleeping, but that's because I'm used to it and I love every minute of it (much like I love every bit of eating and sleeping). I couldn't/wouldn't do it if I didn't. I also have to give big kudos to coach Tim for being the kind of guy you want to show up and perform for. Yes, he's a hottie and thus serves as early morning eye candy for many of us (just keepin' it real here), but he also has a certain uber coachy, fun, inspirational something that makes you want to "do good" for him. It takes me back to high school--all that drive to succeed in sports, and I thank him for that.

One of my greatest wishes is that all of my dear friends would swim too. I just can't get over the idea that every one of them would gain as much mojo and good energy from it as I do. I know that's not correct--those that run long distance (and I know a lot of you do) probably feel the same way about running and I'll be damned if I'm going to run more than five miles at a time on a casual basis (and every mile is painful for me).

I guess I just belong in the water. There's something about being buoyant and largely submerged for an hour first thing in the morning that does much more than work my muscles. Somehow, it works my soul. I flow, things around me and in my mind are fluid. I think about the set I'm swimming, what length I'm on and how much rest I'll get when I touch the wall, and where the big hand should be on the time clock when I push off again. These technical thoughts mix together lap by lap with work ideas, inspirations for kids activities, large psychological and political issues, and just plain noodling about the meaning of life and how I feel about my own life. When a thought gets too heavy, I'm pulled back into the set and I concentrate on my stroke. Lengthen. Rotate. Recover. And then the set is over and I can banter sarcastically with my lane mates.

Swimming is a workout for me yes, but largely it's a watery meditation, and I can no more live without it than without food or rest. On the days I don't swim I feel "off". I work on not feeling that way, because I can't, with two small children and a husband that needs to get to work as well, swim every day. But it's hard to feel right without my swim. It kick starts my day like nothing else.

And that's not all. It's been such a wonderful family activity - swim races and events - where my kids get to see me compete (and yes, lose gracefully).

I owe so very much more than my good cardiovascular system, to swimming and everyone I swim with in the mornings. And I'd (we'd all) love to hear your swim story. Share the watery love: leave a comment about your own swim routine or experience!

1 comment:

Haim said...

Sarah,

Wow - a talented photographer, a talented writer, AND a talented swimmer. Thanks for sharing.

It will be a lot of fun to see if our "hotie", "eye candy" coach will have a permanent blush during the early AM workouts.

BTW that Oscar party picture rocks!

Haim