I love swimming. I adore it, I thrive from it and I feed from it. There’s something about it that just makes me feel so relaxed, so at peace, so… just right.
The obvious factor is of course that it’s an excellent choice of exercise. And I know from experience that exercising will always make me feel great because it gives me a sense of achievement in combination with the fact that I know it will make me look better and therefore feel better. So both short and long term satisfaction. But looking past that, there are a couple of other factors to it.
For one there’s the peace and quiet. Whether you keep your head constantly down, or up and down like I do, you miss out on the continuity of the normal, above surface sounds, so you lose track of them. And if you’re swimming in the sea, the beach sounds will be equally distant or muffled by wind to hear them properly. Which means that you don’t have to concentrate on hearing, because you won’t get the whole sound anyway. And peace and quiet is extremely relaxing.
Another aspect that can’t be denied about swimming I think is the water itself. Used in numerous sorts of treatments for it’s soothing, relaxing and refreshing powers it is a force in itself. I my pool, I am lucky enough to often see a young disabled boy being lifted out of his wheel chair and into the pool, and the expression on his face makes me smile from ear to ear every time. It says everything about the sense of freedom that the water brings.
And then there’s the monotony of swimming. The constant back and forth, the continuously same movement, the same breathing pattern all the way, nothing changes, nothing happens, nothing interrupts. I sometimes find myself losing count of the laps. And I say that in the most positive sense.
In my upbringing the ex-Yugoslavs are kings of proverbs and for this one it goes (in direct translation) “Let your mind go grazing”. And that’s exactly how it feels, like I open the gates, and let my mind flood whichever direction it wants, eat whichever colour, shape or form grass it finds interesting. My under-conscious is in the steering wheel and there are no boundaries of time or order, today, tomorrow, yesterday and what is possible or not is mixed up and everything can happen and all sorts of new thoughts can be reached. Sometimes I realise them straight away, sometimes they are beads that were sawn that will grow and bloom on other occasions. But everytime, I get up of that water feeling enlightened. Like I’m something more than I was before.
I love it. What’s your way of letting your mind wander free?