I have a wonderful aquatic center across the street from work, and since I've been looking for another non-running activity to do, I decided to go swimming on my lunch break today. I usually just eat lunch at my desk, which means I don't end up even having a break. So, I figured I could have a break. I even went a few days ago and got a new swimming suit. I found the perfect (modest) black Speedo at Ross Dress for Less of all places - and it was only $16. What a bargain.
So, dressed in my brand new swimming suit (which I have yet to look at myself in the mirror and see how it fits) I jumped into the pool. I decided to have no expectations for myself. I haven't swam in years - really since college. So, I figured I'd just see where I was. Growing up, I was a swimmer. I think I've talked about how very un-athletic I was (asthma and bad knees). But one thing I could do was swim. I never joined the swim team or anything like that. But I did take swim classes, even in college. And I'd go to the pool and swim laps just for fun. In fact, I've always thought I was one of the best swimmers that I know - maybe not speed-wise, but definitely endurance-wise.
Anyway . . . back to today. Immediately I remembered how much I love the pool, and as I set into a rhythm, I had an epiphany of sorts: while I'm getting to the point where I can actually run a decent distance without sucking wind, I don't enjoy running. I've been doing it to get in shape, hoping one day I will grow to love it. But I do enjoy swimming. I enjoy the way it forces my breathing and body into a rhythm. I love the calm and serenity of the water. And I love how it makes me feel - refreshed and invigorated, without the punishment that running seems to cause.
I swam in 3 (down and back) lap intervals: a freestyle lap, breast stroke lap, and side stroke lap (down on the left side, back on the right side). I alternated my intervals a few times, and didn't even realize until I looked at the clock that I had gone a full 20 minutes. My pace wasn't super speedy, although I was faster than either of the men on the lanes next to me. It felt amazing, but I had to stop and get back to work. And the entire rest of the day, I've felt really good. I may not even mind having to work late tonight (we've got a killer planning commission agenda).