A few weeks ago I bought a summer pass to the pool across the street from my house. I thought it would be great for the kids for the summer, and I put their dad on my pass so he could take them on days when he has them, too. They didn’t have easy access to swimming when we lived in NYC, so it seemed like a no-brainer to buy a pass since the pool is so close and we could go over there almost every day to cool off.
I didn’t think much about swimming myself, until it was a hot day and the kids were at their dad’s and I was all by myself and I decided to go to the pool. When I got there, it was too hot to sit around and read, so I got into the water. And once I was in, it just made sense to start swimming. So I did some laps.
I’m not a great swimmer. My uncle taught me in the lake in my mom’s hometown, so I’ve been swimming since I was a kid, but my form is crap. I’d forgotten how much I like it though. How much fun it is to glide through the water. So I kept swimming.
The next morning I woke up and my shoulders and arm muscles were a little sore. I was lacing up my shoes to go run, and I wondered what it would be like in the pool. And then I felt kind of bad about thinking about swimming while I was about to go running. Just, you know. A little disloyal.
That was three weeks ago, and I’ve been going back to the pool a few times a week and I can now swim twice what I swam the first time. I have plans to swim twice what I swim now, and then twice that, by the end of the summer. I may even take a private lesson or two to work on my form.
I love running. It understands me. It pushes me when I don’t know if I can keep going. It has a rhythm and a through line, and I can feel myself doing it 20, 30, 50 years from now.
But the swimming feels so new and so sleek and so cool and so free.
Maybe I can have both, if I don’t tell them about each other.
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