I’ve been swimming pretty much every day lately, which is notable just because I’ve never been much of a swimmer. I didn’t grow up with a pool and in fact didn’t learn until I was about 11 years old — I taught myself, at the town pool (back in the days when an eleven year-old could get on her bike and ride a mile or two over to the town pool and go in the pool alone). Even so, I’m utterly and deathly and irrationally afraid of going under water, to this day. (And no,that’s not going to change. It wouldn’t be an irrational fear if I could just pull myself together, would it?)
However, now I have a pool where I live. Dave loves the pool. It’s where he spends the summer, every day he can. And I love it too, when it’s sunny and hot and there aren’t screaming children making sounds like mewling goats. Or grown-up Real Housewives of Longuyland talking at a volume that can reach New Jersey. (But I digress.) It’s nice, though, enjoying the water, reading a book by the side, swimming around.
I’m also swimming laps every day, for exercise. I’m trying to get my legs stronger, especially the left leg which has nerve issues. There’s not much you can do about nerve pain, aside from some drugs that I find scary, but if I can build up the leg muscles around that nerve, my pain should be less. I do half my laps propelling myself as much as possible with just my legs, letting them do the work. And it’s great exercise in general, which goes along with my other big project of late.
Truth be told, though, what I really like to do, when it’s not crowded, is float. Just float. I’ve never been a great swimmer, but I can float on my back for as long as I like, with no effort at all. I don’t know why. People who weigh more, they say, float better — fat is less dense than muscle — but that can’t be it, because I’ve always been able to do this. Skinny, heavy, eleven years old or forty-two, it’s always been the same. And it’s the most peaceful, most wonderful thing in the world, floating on top of the water, eyes turned up to the sky, arms stretched out or even clasped behind my head, the clicking noises of the pool filter loud in my ears and every other noise muffled away to nothing. Maybe everyone has one little skill and this one’s mine — if so, I’ll take it.
(Mind, I’d still like teleportation, too, if it’s available.)