I love swimming.
April 1, 2009
Finally the warm days are here! Waiting for them meant an eternity for me, because I love swimming, but I don’t like to swim in the cold weather, and finding a pool, big enough for lap swimming, that is really WARM – 80 degrees at least- is very hard to find.
Here in California, just few pools have warm (more then 80 degrees) water, andneedles to say, the beach is a fridge-cold water place for me. I go to enjoy the sun, but nothing like the warm waters of the Pacific in Mexico, or the Caribbean. Ok, I’ll go back to my subject of swimming. That first dive of the season, felt so good! I swam –I have to say that I’m a good swimmer- the first 20 minutes warming up, the next 30 minutes racing against myself, and the last 20 minutesjust…cruisin’ in the pool. This is my swimming routine simplified. Winding down is another story. Swimming slowly, enjoying the feeling of the water hitting my face, ah! And the feel of the gliding. Gliding is like the cherry on top of the ice cream. After a swim workout, gliding, enjoying your fast, or low speed, letting yourself go, it’s like a massage. After a while, all my muscles are relaxed, noheadaches, no stress, swimming backstroke facing the ceiling of the indoor pool is like a siesta in a water-gliding Jacuzzi.
I started swimming when I was 4 years old. By age 8 I was competing with other swimming schools. Not serious racing, but challenging and fun swim races. Many of my friends were there, and it was a very popular thing to do, since the weather is just propitious for that.Last week, I had my first wonderful, medicinal, therapeutically slow dive on a warm pool, without bringing with me coats, sweaters, hair driers and all the things that I need to stay warm after the swim and go out to the cold weather. Many would think I’m nuts because in California the weather is reasonably mild year round, but if you knew I was born in Mexico, in a city with a 9 month long summer,with temperatures peaking the 120 degrees 3 months on a row, they would understand that my body and skin are still missing that weather and the delightful feeling of a refreshing dive in water.
Well, the sensation just before the diving is exhilarating for me too. Some times I feel so anxious – to go in- that the moments before become like a ritual of preparation. When I am about two and a halffeet above the water; I stare at it, and it stares right back at me. My cap is in place, my swimming suit tight and perfect, and my gear with the flippers and hand weights waiting for me. The goggles give the water a crystal blue tint that taunts me; the water thinks it is better than I am. From the height of the block, the black tile that runs down the center of every lane appears to me as arunway. In just a few seconds I will be moving down that runway, trying to take off above the water. My eyes will be focused on that tile, to make sure I am in the center of my lane. I can see the water grinning and laughing at me now; I am standing on the block with my knees almost to the point of shaking. The water can tell how excited I am. The water looked so calm and smooth, beckoning me todive in. But in just a few seconds, the glassy blueness will be turned into a churning white mass as the swimmers churn through it, causing a wake to run across the pool. For now, it is still laughing at me though, with my toes tightly wrapped around the edge of the block, my body coiled up like a spring ready to explode. The silence of the pool area adds to it. There is absolutely NO noise, whichamplifies the tranquility of the pool. The classes and “aquaerobics” are finished. There is just one more swimmer, but his swimming is slow and imperceptible. I take a dive.
Swimming. An ancient aquatic sport. Its is the art of self-movement in water by use of hands and/or feet. Swimming is viewed as a sport or as recreation. Did you know is the most complete of the sports? You exercise...