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Morning Swims

It starts with a breath. Well, it’s more like, Inhale, Wffffphooooo, Stroke-2-3, Inhale, Wfffffphoooooo. .. My upper front teeth rest lightly on my bottom lip, I blow, exhale through my nose, mouth, ears, pores, stretch out over the water and let the stroke carry me the twenty-five yards… fifty… seven-hundred and fifty.

Reminds me of the breath I take when someone is on my nerves or hovering in my personal space for longer than the acceptable 2.5 seconds. Wfffphoooooooo… There is definitely less exasperation in this particular gesture, however. This gesture doesn’t just release frustration. It releases the previous day, night, week. This stretch across the water liberates me. Cramps, hangover, worries may they be are discharged. I blow, exhale, stroke, and let all the little things hanging from my spirit’s skin sink to the bottom of the pool.  Narratives unfold.

The man with the sagging skin is there. He must have left quite a bit of his previous self in the pool. His sagging skin clearly maps much hard work and weight loss on his part. The differently-abled, scooter man is there. He lifts and swings himself down the wheelchair ramp into the pool. He straps his swim weights to his chest and strokes, glides. Buff man who walks his laps, rather than swims them is there. Old man in the speedo is there. Big, thick sista who manages to swim more continuous laps than me, at a more consistent, gentle pace is there. Heads bob in and out, from side to side. Arms and legs slice and send the water about. The Tom Joyner morning show broadcasts from the radio in the background. I don’t seem to mind it. Gentle splashes heard signal deposits being made by all.

I don’t speak much to anyone, except for a “good morning”, a head nod and smile here and there. I only observe, breath, swim; accede to abandoning those little pieces of baggage that add an extra weight to my load. Now and then, in between laps, I wrap my hands around my thigh to feel, curious to know if perhaps some of that has been left behind in my most recent twenty-five yard stretch. I often wonder what of others has been left behind in the pool. What all does the bottom hold? I look for things, remnants sometimes as I stroke the length of the pool. Wonder if there’s something I could use, or if someone perchance, let go of something by accident. I decide the answer is no. What has been left is meant to be just that, to succumb to the bottom.

Lately, as I’m out and about moving in the world, shopping, annoyed, or simply concentrating too hard, I find myself blowing, teeth rested on my lip, just like in the pool. It seems to start out as that exasperating gesture, but tenderly transitions to the breath I release in the pool, the one that impels weight instead of ingesting it. I’m compelled to realize that although the workout has yet to become a fabulous feeling, I do profit from my visits to the pool, from unloading daily. I also find that I miss it intensely when I skip out. The mornings I feel I just cannot drag myself out of bed, that whatever sleep I missed out on the night before is utterly necessary and making it up is so worth a miss, always start out with my feeling relieved, free, like playing hookie from work. Inevitably, I make it till about two o’clock in the afternoon, then begin to feel remorse and long for that stretch across the water. The rest of the day is spent in anticipation of a new morning where my commitment to the water can be pledged and fulfilled yet again. I must admit, I do like this.


References (5)

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    Anya M. Wallace | Photographer - notyournextfeministsuperstar - Morning Swims
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    Anya M. Wallace | Photographer - notyournextfeministsuperstar - Morning Swims
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  • Response
    Swimming is one of the most effective exercise for improving the cardiovascular status. There are many types of exercises for keeping the body fit. The morning swim will keep you alive and fresh through out the day in both physically and mentally.
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