I hope one day running can give me as much clarity as swimming does.
With swimming, the challenge is always at the start: staring into the pool, tip-toe around, and dip the legs into the icy cool pool. Living in a tropical country and swimming at an outdoor pool where sun shinning down bright, I only get icy cool water.
So I start off by walking in the pool for two laps. Thereafter I plunge my entire body into the water and it feels like being trapped five hundred feet under north pole. Unbelievable. Perhaps the clarity that swimming gives me comes from every aspect, and I am sure the icy cold water contributed in freezing up my brain, and makes it work better somehow?
So, no music and no chit-chat in the water. If you don’t park yourself next to the railing at the swimming pool, there is basically no chatting during your swim time. I mean you cannot possibly ask someone “how’s your day?” while doing a butterfly push, yes? That is precisely why I love to swim – cut the crap and all the socialising. In my entirely adulthood, I have probably been to a pool with someone else less than five times, and regret it later. So much talking, so little action.
The best part about swim time should be swim time. It should be the feeling when you are pulling your hand back and kicking yourself forward. It should be those moments when you keep trying hard and feeling your muscles harden in order to propel you forward. Lovely! And don’t allow long time gap between laps, it will wear off your strength.
What better time to THINK than during swimming? Icy cold water and hardworking muscles provide such strong background to echo the thoughts in your head, it helps to organize all the pieces from yesterday, arranging the puzzle nicely through the lens.
Looking forward, you can almost always see the other end of the pool. Finish line is never out of sight, though sometimes it looks far away, but I always know I will reach there, never once I stop in the middle of the pool. Never! (Unlike running, my mind weaken so fast!) It is during swim time I learn about breathing right, and why it is so important. Unlike running (again), I never fail to reach my goal at swim, if I set out 20 laps, I will finish a full 20 laps, somehow it never seems like an option to chicken out once the goal is set, and that, has to do with my awesome swimming instructor. I’ll tell you about him in another entry, yes? I assure you it is a good story. I owe so much to a man whom I hardly can remember his name.
When I’m done with my goal, I like to do several relaxing back stroke laps looking up into the sky, checking out the birds, and the neighbours. Floating aimlessly is such a luxury after a hard session.
I love to run, but only during swim time I am utterly focus and strive for the next best stroke. I love how it is completely relaxing.
My mind wonders around during swim time, and often produces good result. Today’s forty-five minutes and twenty laps later, I have 3 blogging ideas in hand and solved a writing hiatus. Swimming is good for me (and you).
What’s your favourite do during downtime?
Till then, take care.