26 July 2009

You're asking what?

"What are you doing?" she asked. I was in a swim suit with cap and goggles on, in a pool going back and forth; I would have thought the answer was obvious. But considering the woman who asked was also in the pool wearing a swim suit and was generally going back and forth, I didn't think she was being literal. I wasn't clear what she meant so I stopped, pulled out my ear plug, pushed up my goggles, and muttered, "What was that?" She must have seen the blank confused look in my eyes and asked more specifically, "What stroke are you doing?"
"Oh! It's the breast stroke."
"How do you do it?"
"Oh, um, well, ahhh..." I couldn't answer. It was as if she asked me how to breathe or walk. I had to slowly swim a few strokes and think about what I was doing before I could answer her.

Swimming has become an activity that is second nature for me. It's my stress relief. My place to get away and put aside the cares and worries, and relax. All you can think of is stroke, stroke, stoke, BREATH. The light rippling and dancing across the bottom mesmerizes; the bubbles breaking to the top creates a deafening sound blocking out the world. My zen.

This zen was broken last night with an impromptu swim lesson, but that was okay, I was glad to help. I made a realization yesterday too. I was flipping out and my mind was racing with thoughts yesterday afternoon, as I was cleaning the kitchen my mind would pause for a moment and the thought popped in - "I've got to get to the gym and swim or I'm going to explode." After a few times of telling myself this I realized with horror, "I'm just like Dad!" When he gets wound up his only way to deal with stress is to get on his bike and go, for hours. How did I end up like my dad? Both of us needing to do solitary physical activity to deal with stress. Genetics or modeling? You be the judge.

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