Day 14 was my first day off of work in three weeks and I made the most of every moment of it, including a visit to my YMCA where I spent 20 minutes doing laps in the pool. While I was swimming, I was so grateful for the water. I feel so light, so comfortable, so graceful in the water – and it inspired today’s day of gratitude. I have loved to swim all my life. My mother likes to call me a fish. But I never swam competitively because I never wanted to stand in a bathing suit in front of my peers. I sat out many a pool party in middle school and high school too.
I have a love/hate relationship with water. It’s naturally sugar free, so I am not a fan of drinking it. But water is also life. The world was born from water. I was born from water. And water sustains us. It also divides the world- those who have and those who don’t, those who steal it, control it, waste it. In college I took a mini-course on the politics of water and I was blown away by how unavailable this precious resource is to so many. Meanwhile, here I am swimming through a pool of climate controlled freshwater – and my own lane to boot!
In January of 2014 we started on a 12 week weight lifting program recommended by a friend and part of the regimen was drinking a full gallon of water – at minimum – everyday. I came to understand the healing power of water. And now, whenever I’m not feeling well, sleeping well, or looking well, I usually notice that I haven’t been keeping up with my water intake. So I keep 4 water bottles in my office and try to drink all of them each day. I’m usually forcing it down because I hate drinking it, but I also try to remember how lucky I am to have unlimited access to it – in my home, at work, at my YMCA.
And then there are the bodies of water I’ve swam in, my love of swimming and the ocean. Water is such a powerful force. It calms us, energizes us, washes us clean. I’m grateful for the many oceans, rivers, streams, lakes, pools, and creeks I have waded in that have pacified me, renewed me. My husband and I have spent many days visiting the water, kayaking or canoeing it, fishing in it, hiking across it, playing in it. It also inspires activity, movement, health.
And while you still won’t catch me with my face in the lake during the open swim in a triathlon, the importance of water is not lost on me and you’ll rarely catch me without a bottle at my side. Swimming today felt so great, I want to try to do more of it through the rest of this year. I always feel so refreshed afterward. And I’m grateful I have a great place to swim!