Even though I have been able to swim since the age of eleven. I haven’t necessarily viewed swimming as meditative because I am always accompanied by the company of friends and family. It’s been mostly a recreational activity. It’s never just an relaxing experience. For the first time, I decided to attend a pool at my sister’s apartment complex by myself and went in with an open mind. I tried not to necessarily focus on my strokes or breathing, but rather just the water. The somber weather had already put me in a relaxing mood, so it was so much easier to relax while swimming. I swam and paced myself. I didn’t want to think about being exhausted, so I would stop swimming and float on my back and kick my feet just little bit. When swimming on my back, I could see my surroundings, but could only hear the water’s movement due to my stroke. I felt alone, due to no communication, but I could see people around me talking with each other [people I did not know]. I felt somewhat invisible because I wasn’t necessarily acknowledged even though I was physically there.
I also would hold my knees and sink to the bottom and try to relax for half a minute. This was very relaxing. The sound of the bubbles that exited my nose was somewhat soothing. The clarity of the water with my goggles was cool to see. I tried putting myself in the mind frame of a person who has never swam before. I looked at the skin on my hands, and it looked somewhat faded. After reemerging above the water, my skin would have a glow to it due to the water remaining on my skin. It was just amazing to see the affect water has on your body. Seeing others around me jump in the pool, and the vast amount of bubbles that would surround their body was amazing to see.
Although my experience doesn’t sound meditative or relaxing, it was to me, because I focused on the little things that come with swimming that many ignore. My mind drifted off a few times, but I really focused on my family. I received a disturbing text the morning before I swam [Saturday, May 17] about my sister-in-law’s younger brother who drowned in a lake. I didn’t know him, but the incident made me appreciate my family more. The overall swim seemed like an outer body experience because it wasn’t about my struggles in life, but about the people around me. I prayed for everyone around me.
Even though I wouldn’t consider myself a swimmer, I found a whole new respect for the pool. I wasn’t swimming the entire time, but just being able to sit, flow, and walk around the pool was relaxing. I was able recount my thoughts and think on them deeply, but not stressful.
I enjoy meditative swimming much more than drills, because you don’t go in with a purpose, but rather just because it’s there. This was my first meditative swim, and I truly enjoyed it.