About two months ago I started swimming “diligently”. It first started with a splash, and with the very basic pieces of knowledge (mostly intuitive) in order not to drown. I tried in the start, at the beginner’s-friendly family-oriented pool of my club in the boondocks, o sea, en la Hermandad Gallega de Valle Fresco. There, after successfully taming my impatient nature by being calm in the middle of a mercado callejero en el barrio de Valle Fresco justo en la entrada del club donde todo es caos y los reyes de la carretera (los !”#$%&/()”# choferes de buses) hacen lo que le dan la gana, where live gallinas are sold and killed in the middle of the street justo al lado de un mecánico arreglando su auto con un bidón de gasolina, a escasos metros de una vendedora ambulante de “parrilla de carne” (carne de qué tipo???)…anyway, after successfully breathing and chanting OM for an hour and passing through that chaos, I cross the entrance of the club and behold!…I roll into a different space and time, a fairy tale forest taken from middle Spain and planted in the middle of Municipio Sucre / Estado Miranda, Venezuela.
There, everyone already knows me. Heck, they’ve seen this semi-naked body every weekend (mornings when the pool is “clean” and piss-free), vehemently splashing her almost 58 kilos of happy fat across the water, gulping for air, and basically being a joyful mammal in the middle of her quest to touch the other end of the pool without drowning! And so it started like that, first 25 meters, then adding another lap. Then realizing that it’s good to relax, then awakening to the simplicity of just being grateful. The being grateful and thankful part really is the key to swimming.
And I keep swimming now to the extent of declaring it one of my essential activities for sanity! The coolest sensation is dipping into a pool without a care in the world, and for 30 minutes having no mind. Just breathing out and in, swinging arms, flipping feet, body in relaxed action….and the complete sensation of being alone with myself, facing the fears, acknowledging the joys, thanking the moment.