Whatever your reason for swimming weither it be for sport and recreation, freedom and mediation or maybe you could care less to ever take a plunge, water is an essential part of life. Water is the one aspect that every living being needs to survive. So water in a sense can bring all nations together or hatefully segregate them. I think we have witnessed both sides of these extremes. Lynn Cox crossed terrifyingly frigid waters of the Bering Strait to bring the US and USSR together during times of war and made great friendships across the borders. Meanwhile, Greenville City decides to close down a beautiful community pool in Cleveland Park to avoid integrating and letting all ethnic groups use it for their enjoyment.
People swim for all different personal reasons and here are a few examples: Some like the mysterious aspects of swimming in bodies of open water like Munatones while others would rather spend time doing meditative laps in a pool. Nate Jackson seems that he would rather be sent to the electric chair at times than to spend another minute swimming, however Leanne Shapton can swim all day. Lynn Cox as I have already mentioned likes to swim with a greater purpose in mind, and we certainly cannot leave out swimming for acts of pure freedom like wild swimmers in remote areas of the world or the acts of sexual passions we see between Hero and Leander.
Swimming for me is a little of all of the above I think. I have enjoyed being on the water since the beginning of me. My parents took me to the lake and beaches as a child so the open water experiences for me like our Lake Hartwell trip are very enjoyable and it didn’t seem like a challenge as much as a day out to play.
In the pool it is a little more challenging for me because I start to feed into boredom of going back and forth from wall to wall, however I can appreciate it for some time. It does give you a chance to work on technique which is what I do when I am taking my time and swimming slow. Instead of reflecting on daily events all I find myself thinking about is where my arms are, am I kicking from my hips, is my head down, and most importantly WHERE IS THE WALL!
These thoughts change quickly when I decide to pick up the pace and do some sprints. Now it’s more like a countdown of how much longer do I have, how many more laps before I reach the personal goal I set to stop, who’s idea was a pace clock anyway? I have to say sprint swimming is really not on my want to list.
So Why Do I swim…I like the feel of the water, the smells of open water and a pool, the diversity of things you can enjoy there, the scenery, and the overall life it provides.