Friday, November 12, 2010
Swimming Through Grief
I joined our community's indoor pool.
I used to swim. A lot.
I was nervous when I entered the Ladies Locker room today. I hadn't done any lap swimming for many years.
I had my brand new Speedo swim suit (modest cut) on. I had a brand new Speedo swim cap and goggles.
I stowed all my stuff in a locker and wrapping a towel around me followed the signs to the indoor pool. Six lanes were marked off for lap swimmers. Three were occupied. I choose lane #5.
The air was warm but the water was cold. I eased myself into the five foot deep water, did some stretching and looked around. The teenage lifeguard looked bored. The other swimmers were deep into their own exercise routine.
I pushed off from the side and glided easily into the water. One stroke, two. It all came back. Freestyle, Breast Stroke, Backstroke, Butterfly, rest. Side Stroke. Ease back into freestyle. Breathe. No one was watching. Everyone was occupied with their own rhythm, their own strokes.
Four laps, five. Ten. Fifteen. My heart was beating out of my chest. I remembered to kick. To breathe. To ease into each stroke. My body remembered. My brain went into autopilot. Stroke. Breathe. Kick.
The water eased over me and through me. I forgot about everything. Time. Grief. Loneliness. Stroke, Breathe. Kick. Turn. Another lap.
Fifteen minutes passed, thirty minutes passed. I swam. I breathed. Twenty laps.
When finally my legs were shaking, my shoulder aching and I could barely raise my arms over my head I climbed out of the pool.
I am swimming through grief. I am going back tomorrow.