Swimming: My Respite from Reality

When temperatures are routinely climbing past 100 degrees Fahrenheit, it makes me glad I’ve incorporated swimming into my gym routine once or twice a week – depending on my workout schedule. Yesterday after giving my abs and shoulders a good workout, I headed for the pool. The water was nice and cold compared to the hot sweaty gym. The water felt so good that after my 20 minute swim, I didn’t want to leave the pool. Just wanted to float in the water and pretend there wasn’t a crushing load of work to deal with back at the office or that I’d be sweating in the hot car again after heading back to the office.

Since there was no one else in the pool I closed my eyes and floated on my back letting my breathing and heart rate slow, enjoying the still water and the silence that comes with having your ears below water.

For a few minutes my mind wandered.

I thought about what a better swimmer I am now than I was when I started swimming last month. I’m still the slowest swimmer in the pool, but my time, technique, and endurance have improved tremendously. Michael Phelps may not have to worry about me in the 2008 Beijing Olympics but he and the rest of the American swimming team better look out in 2012.

I ruminated over a problem I was having with one of the characters in my novel and whether or not I should eliminate him from the story altogether.

I wondered what Marathon Girl was doing and hoped she was taking some time to rest. Between taking care of three young kids and have a fourth one on the way, she needed those afternoon breaks when the kids are down for naps.

I started to think of something else but there was a disturbance in the water. I looked up. In the next lane a swimmer was barreling down the lane, toward my end of the pool. I watched him flip as he reached the end of the pool and headed back to the other end.

My respite from reality was over.

It was time to get back to work.