Monday, 2 February 2015

Stress-less swimming

Swimming is my medicine.  It's as simple as that.  I got back in the pool following a traumatic incident that sent my body into shock in 2010.  The pool became far more than a body of water:  it was the site of healing at a physical, mental and emotional level.

I didn't think about it:  I couldn't.  I just swam.  I wasn't counting laps, or even time; I made my way to the pool and felt my way through the water.

Nearly 5 years on, I'm still swimming.  I try to prioritise time spent in the pool.  It is part of my essential maintenance.  Last week I swam three times.  Each swim was different.  No two swims are ever the same but some are more memorable than others.  These days, a great many of my swims are 'good':  they enable me to switch gears, and let go of whatever I might need to.

Just occasionally, I get into the pool and, within the first 3 or 4 lengths know it's going to be a 'great' swim.  These are the swims during which I find my way 'into the zone'.  It has little do with what I am bringing with me (in terms of what's going on between my ears) and nothing to do with whom occupies the lane either side of me.  Energy levels are not indicative of these swims - I cannot make up my mind to have one - it just happens.

My body finds its position, comfortably and naturally.  My breath settles and I am 'at one' with the water.  Movement and breathing are in sync.  There is only this moment.  And the next.  This breath.  And the next.  My strokes are smooth.  I move through the water without effort.  Fully supported by it, I glide serene.  There are no splashes between the two lane ropes I am aware of only vaguely within my peripheral vision.  I am alert and awake, yet my consciousness is empty and expansive.  This is how I re-set.  In this moment, I can swim forever.  Having achieved this state, I needn't swim for long.  I am restored.  I am replete.  

"Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer."  William S. Burroughs

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