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Monday, March 11, 2019

Self Care Via Swimming

I posted this on my Facebook wall, and everyone there loved it, and told me I should share it further, and put it on my blog. So here it is. This is the definition of self care for me.

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I learned to swim from when I was very young, breezing through the various levels of the American Red Cross swimming lessons. By age 12 I'd passed all the levels, and looking for something else to do while my siblings took lessons, I joined the pools synchronized swim team. I loved it so much; while I did ballet on land, my body felt big and clunky on the stage, but in synchronized swimming, water ballet, no one would tell me that my body is the wrong shape or I wasn't flexible enough. I was like this little water nymph, feeling right at home in the depths.

Unfortunately, once I left my hometown, I was never able to go swimming regularly and honestly a big part of me was dormant. The few times I did manage to make it to the pool it was with kids in tow and I couldn't swim. Not really. Not in the ways that made me feel alive. No beautiful graceful water ballet. And the other times I swam was at the sea, with the dangerous undertow threatening to sweep me away, and one time even managing to do that.

Last week I returned to the pool for the first time, in an effort to recapture the joy of my childhood and let my inner water nymph swim free. But I was clumsy and out of practice, and instead of feeling amazing and free, I felt silly and foolish (at least until the water was able to wash it away from me) and that side of me wasn't able to really shine.

Today I went back, determined to succeed more than last time. And I did. And as I swam, as I gracefully torpedoed across the water, a woman swam over to me and said 'excuse me, do you do synchronized swimming?' and I felt thrilled that, despite my years of not practicing, my clumsy attempts became noticed, and she wanted me to teach her more.

Together we practiced. I taught her moves and she reminded me of things I forgot.

And we made an agreement to meet back here next week, practice some more.

Her with her visible external scarring.

Me with my internal scars.

Not knowing much about each other.

But determined to help each other dance and dive in the crystalline waters.

Two nymphs.

Anyone else water obsessed? Do I have any synchronized swimming friends?

4 comments:

  1. I love this! Good for you for renewing a passion!

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  2. So beautiful!! I'm glad you found something that makes you feel so alive! Most recently I went to a rock climbing gym with a friend for the first time. When I was younger I lived in Las Vegas and I remember going out to Red Rock Canyon and thinking how much I would love to climb those rocks. I told myself one day I would learn. It's strange because in that climbing gym, it wasn't really anything like being up on real rocks but it felt strangely intuitive as if I already knew what to do as if I was remembering something I had forgotten but that I know I've never done in real life. it feels good to find something that makes you feel that kind of livelihood and vitality. I'm so glad you got to experience that again and I hope you keep going for it!!

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  3. I also love to swim! I love the water, lake, ocean, river, mud puddle all of it. I am on a journey of healing and discovery. I stepped out of my comfort zone to order a swim suit. It arrived, I tried it on and went for a swim. Had I tried it on and had other options, I would have hated the way I looked (and felt) in all of them. I feel lite and breezy in the water. Glad you went for it.

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