Summer 2017: The swimming highlight reel

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

It's been a strange summer for swimming – so many thunderstorms, and chilly days (not a single Extreme Heat Alert to keep the pools open till midnight this year!). There were foulings (the only good part of that was the delicious cocktail created to commemorate it!), thunderstorm-thwarted swims, and small windows between feeding my baby. The (only?) good part about the frigid fall temperatures was that I often got a full lane to myself for much of August.

I did succeed in writing about swimming every single day (!) the outdoor pools were open this summer, which made even the swim-less days manageable, and I swam a lot this last month – gracious friends and family watching my baby while I got a swim in. I even read on the deck twice –  not usually a rare occurrence in the summers but with small windows (babies!) and frigid temperatures (brrrr!).

I watched four Harvards dive and split off and re-find each other during my penultimate swim at Sunnyside, and thought a lot about my Papa Doug who used to fly Harvards and my very last swim of the season was pretty anticlimactic, a cold, fast swim under a grey sky. Definitely a whisper, not a bang.

But amidst the chilly, utilitarian swims, there were some stand out gems this summer:

1). After a long swimming drought, I got this text from my brother-in-law:

And so, he wore my 4.5-month-old baby and pushed his 4.5-month-old baby in a stroller up and down the boardwalk and my sister and I got to swim together. We had the fast lane to ourselves and the sun shone and it was glorious. Truly one of the best swims of the summer.

2). A Sunnyside swim where, mid-swim, a Great Blue heron flew over the pool, its neck folded over itself, its wings enormous, reaching. It was spectacular.

3). Another Sunnyside dip close to the end of August in which the air above the pool was filled with the darting, meandering flights of monarch butterflies. I lost track after I hit 30!

4). The deep end dip and interlock brick deck hang I wrote about here. I'm still thinking about that 1980s oasis of a pool and can't wait to make it back next summer for the 50m length swim.

5). My happy hour swim up at a cottage.

Even with the chilly swims and the numb fingers, I already miss swimming outside. My indoor bag is packed – farewell, sunscreen, sunglasses and bikini. I already can't wait for next summer...

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