I think me and Nate Jackson would be great friends due to our mutual dislike of the sport of swimming. “Endless banter, a back and forth so delicate that if you’re not in good spirits and ultra-motivated to be the most awesome swimmer ever, it can send you spiraling quickly into lethargy.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Repetitive action has never been my friend, and swimming literally leaves no room for any change. Going into my “meditative” swim I was doubtful I’d find anything relaxing or interesting about my swimming. I thought lap swimming is just not my thing, and boy was I right.
When I got into the pool, I was trying to latch onto something I could focus on and think about, but all I could think about is “when can I get out.” By 50 yards I was already completely exhausted and out of breath, but I decided to keep going hoping a lightbulb would go off and suddenly I’d be free. Nope. All I could think about as I was struggling to get from wall to wall is how hard it was. I constantly would breath in water, slapping the water with zero grace, moving through the water like I was geared up to go to war. Whoever said swimming makes you feel weightless was crazy. When I’m swimming, it feels like I’m carrying a 300 pound man through a pool of pudding.
Boredom is always my downfall. In any workout situation, I can start out fine, I’m not thinking about what I’m doing, I’m just doing it. But the second I get one distraction, my brain kicks in and I realize what I’m doing. So for me, my brain doesn’t race, it just focuses in on every bad thing thats happening at the time. I broke my butt (literally) in February and am still recovering, I ran a 5k on Saturday morning, and went roller blading on Saturday night, so my brain had plenty of stuff to think about while I was swimming. If I kicked a certain way it felt like my tailbone was breaking all over again, but if I only kicked from my knees down my legs got burned out really quickly. Put the 5k and the roller blading into the equation and I have sore, aching, bruised knees and ankles.
Nate Jackson talked about “cheating the system.” Doing anything he could to make practice a little easier when his coach wasn’t looking. The only person I had to worry about was the damn lifeguard who I felt like was glaring at me the whole time and judging my poor swimming abilities. Probably wondering why in the world I was even in the PAC swimming if I was that bad. It’s not like a had a set goal or a coach screaming at me, but still I found myself pulling the lane lines to get to the end, or occasionally giving myself a little extra boost from pushing off the bottom of the pull in the middle of a lap. I then, of course, felt guilty because I was positive the lifeguard had seen what I was doing and probably was shaking their head at me.
When I finally decided to give up, when I thought I had suffered through enough laps to write a sufficient blog post, I got out and felt so accomplished I about cried. I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be sticking to yoga for my time of meditation from now on.