I woke up yesterday morning and felt OK. Nothing remarkable about the morning. For the past few days or so, off-and-on, I’ve been pretty emotional and feeling blah. The void from losing Noah feels a lot stronger and bigger these days. So I’ll take feeling just OK. I started the day with eating breakfast, tackling some work and reading the news. I planned to hit the pool by mid-morning to swim my assigned 3000 yards. Last weekend I sought some advice from my coach about my swims (among other areas). I was starting to grow anxious about not making decent enough progress with my times. Since hearing back from him, I’ve been looking forward to swimming with his guidance in my head.
But yesterday I struggled to go to the pool. I don’t know exactly why. I didn’t feel like it was my spirit talking to me; like I needed a break or something. Most likely, I think, it was simply becoming one of those days -whatever that means.
Packing my gym bag was an effort. I painstakingly gathered my goggles, sunscreen, swim cap, chocolate milk, Clif shots, Nuun tablets, water bottle and change of clothes. Every few minutes I’d pause, take in a deep breath and think about NOT going. But then I’d continue to get ready. I forced myself to go through the motions. “Just get in the water and start swimming,” I kept telling myself. “If the pool is the slightest bit crowded though, that’s a sign I shouldn’t swim today.”
The pool had only one other swimmer in it. I had my own lane; it wasn’t the middle lane but a good one. I guess that’s a sign too. Slowly I placed my stuff at the end of the pool. I stretched. I rarely do this before swimming. I was stalling. And then I sat down on the edge and placed my legs in the water. I started the timer on my Garmin and pushed myself in.
When I swim laps I breathe every three or five strokes to alternate sides. With the first breath I took I naturally looked up at the sky. All I saw was blue above me and when I placed my face back in the water I noticed sunlight shining, almost dancing, in the water. I immediately felt better. Not great, not bad and not just ok. This swim was not even close to being a great pool workout. But the blue sky, sun and even the water gave me some peace and comfort.