Two years ago, it was a cold summer, which doesn't usually keep me from the pool, but I was newly pregnant and so exhausted getting through a day wasn't easy. And when I did make it down to Sunnyside, I'd swim for a half hour before I'd be too hungry to keep going.
Last summer, I swam a lot more, but I had an infant, so my swims were tucked between frequent nursing and naps and whenever I could beg my mom to meet me by the lake and walk Jack up and down the boardwalk. My Sunnyside swims were beacons in the hazy muddle of new parenthood, but they were short and hurried. (I know it's impossible, but I swear I could hear Jack crying from under the water). Needless to say, there was no post-swim lingering on the deck.
So this weekend's Sunnyside swim felt like the biggest gift. I swam for an hour (AN HOUR!) without worrying if someone was hungry, or needed me. Back and forth and back and forth, watching the leaves at the bottom of the pool shift, trying to follow the crack in the cement to keep going me in a straight line. I don't even know what I thought about -- and that is precisely why I love swimming so much, why I crave it, my busy to-do list mind suspended and floating and drifting and meandering without holding onto any one thing.
There was no clock ticking down my free minutes, no blinding exhaustion, just me and the deep end and a breath every three strokes or so.
(And if that wasn't enough, I then I lay on the deck in the sun with a book and read till I was dry).