Thursday, February 12, 2009

Swim

I'm swimming again. I took a hiatus, tried other things to work out but only swimming does it for me. I missed the pool.

Today, another woman around my age or older asked to share my lane. I was stopping to rest after pushing myself hard on a fast lap as she jumped in. I was glad to share but I warned her I was slow. She asked how long I had been swimming. I didn't know how to answer that--I'm not a beginner but I'm not advanced. So I said I just swim laps, but I'm still slow. She said, yeah, it takes awhile.

I've been picking up speed this week, though. For me. When I get to the other side, I'm surprised I'm already there. This is not a big deal for most people, but it is for me. When I get in the pool, I remind myself that I'm rebuilding what was lost over a miserable summer. It won't be back over night. But it will be back. Sometimes on those swift and smooth laps, it stops being an effort and begins to feel like flying.

Today, I swam to the other side and stopped to move a buoy to help me keep track of laps and as I reached over, some guy a few lanes over was looking at me in amazement. Yeah, I move faster than I look. It took awhile. But in a matter of time, I will be faster.

What do I like about exercise and particularly swimming? I think feeling connected to my body is something I don't experience much and a good work out helps with strengthening that bond between the physical, emotional, intellect and spiritual. There was a movie about an Olympian sprinter saying that he felt God's pleasure when he ran. The man whose life the movie is based on was Eric Liddell, the winner of the 400m in the 1924 Olympics and who afterward worked as a missionary in China until he died in an internment camp Wiefang in 1945. His daughter remembers him still being fast in during that time, so quick he chased and caught a hare for dinner during food rationing.

I can't say that I feel God's pleasure when I swim, but I feel more joyful and more connected to Him afterwards, and I know that my diligence in taking care of myself is something He likes to see.

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