I’ve always been comfortable in water. Growing up, I loved swimming in lakes and pools, etc. Being able to hold my own, in 2001 when I embarked on my first summer at Camp Chatuga. I decided to head down to Mountain Rest, SC for Lifeguard training before the kick off of all staff training and summer sessions. Spending a week in the lake, learning new skills and fine tuning some old ones, opened a door and world that I still enjoy.
That first day, I met a dear friend and fellow first time counselor Nan. Throughout that summer and the following summer Nan was generous enough to help me learn more about the art of swimming. Getting more technique minded and less floundering around just for the fun of it. A skilled swimmer for a long time, Nan was great teacher and I will forever be grateful to her for the extra tutelage she bestowed on me.
Due to walking through that open door, I spent a lot of my three summers at Camp Chatuga in the water. When returning to Charleston Southern University for my final year in the fall of 2004 I was presented with an another opportunity. I was offered the position of head lifeguard for the CSU pool. Happily I took the position and was able to make the summer classes I had to take instead of going back to my beloved camp more bearable. Expanding my love of swimming ever more.
The following years after I left CSU I found myself drawn to swimming when I could. Getting on kicks of swimming regularly for a while then, taking hiatus from the activity. Most recently in the last two years I’ve kicked up my swimming activity and have enjoyed the Seattle Public Pools and most of late my fitness centers pool facility. The last nine weeks has been met with a steady three swims a week. Swimming works well, because with the unpredictable winter climate, I can always get a good workout in no matter what the elements are.
In the past nine weeks I’ve noticed and appreciated my swims in a whole new level than ever before. Now, I’m not sure if I can attribute this to my age or just all in all where I am currently in my life. However, the lure of taking forty-five minutes to escape while completing any activity that I truly enjoy and love is addicting. Unlike other exercise routines where you can plug in your music, watch TV on a elliptical, or participate in a group swimming is solo. Putting on my cap and goggles, gliding through the water swimming laps, I usually am able to only hear my thoughts and the sound of water rushing past my ears.
I find I go in stages of over thinking everything for the first five-ten minutes of my swim… My work craziness. Money. Missing friends and family. What I plan on doing for the weekend. Then, most likely the last song I heard on my drive to the gym, enters my head and is on repeat for a few laps until I’m able to shake it. The last twenty-five to thirty minutes is golden. It’s the part where I unwind, daydream, think of hopes, goals, and all the centering that I need to make my workout more of a body and soul rejuvenation.
As amazing as that sounds, I have to admit that lately my thoughts have gone to my swim-face. What’s a swim-face? Well, if you swim laps you may understand. When I commence my freestyle stroke I opt for the breath every three strokes. Which means that I alternate the side I breath on. It’s second nature to me now and it makes me wonder what else is second nature? After taking my breath, my head resumes its linear path looking at the line down the middle of the lane. I really wish I could see my face at this point. In my head I imagine that I look graceful with a kick-ass hardcore look upon my mug. However, In reality I have a feeling I look more like a consorted Ursula instead of Ariel. It’s silly right. Unless there was a camera or someone on the bottom of the pool looking right up at me as swim overhead. Who cares? Well, I guess no one, but that is my ponder thought of the moment. Swim-face.