Recently I’ve been swimming for exercise. I picked it up last fall when a friend of mine started looking for an alternative to running cause her hip “went out.” But… I kind of suck at it.
Now it’s not all bad. The best part about swimming is the first lap. The first time you glide through the water and feel your muscles stretch, it really is magical. It’s cooling and refreshing and actually something I look forward to.
Something I don’t look forward to? Every. other. lap.
You see, swimming is done in water. Most of us breathe air. I’ll bet you didn’t know that being under water inhibits the breathing of air. No? Well, now you do. Somehow I manage to get water up my nose, right about half way through a length of the pool… Just when I think I’ve got the hang of it I start floundering like a fool.
Yesterday I was swimming a few laps in a mostly empty pool, thinking to myself how much I must look like an idiot to the lifeguard – who undoubtedly could swim “circles” around me. Or squares. Rectangles. Pool laps even. Secretly she was scoffing at my ill-attempted form and precision. Normally I don’t think about it because the pool is so crowded I figure nobody is paying attention to me. But not this day.. Oh no. EMPTY. And I was preoccupied with my suck factor.
But then I started to think… Why am I allowing myself to dwell on such denigrating thoughts? Who cares if I suck at swimming? What does it even matter what the lifeguard thinks of me? I don’t even know her name! Maybe sucking is the new ROCKIN’! And I resolved that I’m not going to let negativity weigh me down – not in swimming, not in life…
So.. I’m going swimming again tomorrow. And Friday. And I’m probably gonna flounder a little. But at least I’ll be floundering with my dignity.