Hello Old Friend

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Today, I did something that I have been putting off for a long time. Something that I’ve been yearning to do, but didn’t have the courage to try. I got back in the pool. Swimming was my first real love (other than Chewbacca of course) and like an old relationship that lost its spark, I wondered how we would feel about each other when we met again. Oh sure, I saw the pool from time to time, but always from a distance and always with apprehension.

In my prime, swimming was an art form for me. I used to cut through the water like a sculptor molds clay. It was an intimate relationship to be sure. We spent almost 6 hours a day together for more than half of my life and we had been through a lot of ups and downs including injuries and victories. If any of you have ever been really into a sport, you’ll know that the sport really does become almost a person to you. I agonized over quitting my senior year. It really was the worst break up that I’ve ever had. I knew it was time to move on, but what else would I do with myself? Picking up another sport was like asking a concert pianist to play the violin – it seemed almost silly.

So, I did what I do best. I cut it out of my life cold turkey. In one fell swoop, I was no longer a swimmer by trade, but if I’m being honest, I’ve always been one in my soul and that you can’t erase. Gradually, I started running and cycling on the side, but neither sport ever got into my head like swimming did. We were soulmates and it was time that we gave it another chance.

So today, I packed up my suit, goggles and cap and headed down to the pool. I had butterflies in my stomach as if I were about to enter the Olympic arena. I walked over to an empty lane and stretched like I had been taught in what seemed a lifetime ago. I looked around at the other swimmers and wondered if I looked like an imposter. It was only a fleeting thought though because I was staring at the water, wondering what it was going to feel like when I dove in. So I put on my cap and goggles, took a deep breath and I took the plunge.

It was like diving into a warm embrace. Lovers, reunited at last and wondering what the hell took so long. As I gathered my bearings over the first couple of laps, I knew that my technique was still perfect, but my strength and endurance were sorely lacking. It wasn’t until I entered the pool that I realized that I didn’t have a workout planned for the day, but you know what? That was completely ok. The water and I, well, we’re going to need some time to get reacquainted. There’s really no rush because this time, we’re back together for the long haul.

I swam until I was tired and content and with a small sigh of disappointment, I got out of the water. I got my stuff together and started to head back out to the parking lot. When I was almost there, I threw a look at the pool over my shoulder as if to say, “Don’t worry, we’ll see each other again really soon.” All in all, I would have to say that it was a great new beginning.

Please do me a favor though. Kindly refrain from telling the pool that I’ve enjoyed a casual relationship with cycling and I’m currently dating the road via running. Swimming was always a time hoarder and I don’t think that the pool would take too kindly to knowing that other sports are enjoying my company as well. Thank you.

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