I grew up swimming.
It’s my favorite physical activity.
I feel at home in the water.
I took swim lessons every summer, in California, from the time I was about 6 years old.
I tried out synchronized swimming (I still like to do that thing where you paddle your hands under the water at your sides, while floating flat on your back, and raise one leg up perpendicularly in the air, pointed toe – I used to be able to submerge myself down to the tip of the toe at water level, then resurface, oh, so gracefully!!).
I dived. (Kind of amazing, as I hate being airborne, unless it’s in a plane, and I don’t dive anymore).
When I got my first real job, in a research lab at the medical center at Stanford University, I and a few coworkers would go over to the olympic sized pool year-round (outdoors, but gloriously warm in the winter months) and swim a mile every lunch hour.
During my first two years of med school, where you spend most of your day in lectures, I continued the lunchtime ritual of lap swimming.
But, then, not as much swimming during third and fourth years of med school, and from residency on, it was hard to find the time to swim. I did manage to get to the pool on the Bethesda Naval Medical Center campus when I was working at the NIH, but, since 2005, when I started at IHV, I have not figured out a way to get to the pool. They even built one on our campus, one block from my office, but the fee has been exorbitant, and the hours were very limited at first. I recently reconsidered paying the membership fee for faculty, as they have liberalized their hours…
So, today, I was going to commit to paying the fee, and starting back swimming. I had to go to the hospital to round on patients with the inpatient housestaff team, and I figured, as we only had 3 patients to see, I could easily fit in a swim afterwards. But – I left my swimsuit and towel in my duffle bag in the front hall at home. Such a shame, I thought!
I texted my dear husband when I was leaving Baltimore for home, and he called me back, asking if it would help for him to leave my duffle bag out on the front steps, so I could swing by, pick up swim paraphernalia, and go to the local community pool for a swim. Yay!! A second chance at that swim!
I got the bag, boys none the wiser, and went over to the pool. Got there at 1:55pm, only to learn that they close down from 2-3pm. Argh! Maybe I was doomed to never be able to swim again!!
I went home. I told the husband to go for his delayed bike ride, and loaded the boys in the car. We went over to Tikvat Israel to see what was going on with the Turkish Vijita and Bazaar festivities!! It was a busy scene. We ended up listening to a guitar trio who sang some lovely songs – J was particularly appreciative. We looked at the stalls displaying carpets, scarves, decorative items, jewelry, and some lovely artwork.
I finally pulled the boys away, and we returned home, perfectly timed with Daddy’s return from his bike ride. It was now 4:20, and the pool was open, but would close again at 5pm. I raced over, and got in. And, as soon as I was in the water, I remember how much I love being surrounded by water. I can’t believe I allowed so many years to elapse without this experience that I love so much!! I even forgot my goggles, and so, now, as I write this description, I can hardly see the screen for the burning of the chlorine on my eyes!! But it was glorious!!
I have tried running. I’ve tried biking. But, I really love to swim, and I remember that now. Somehow, I need to figure out how to fit swimming into my life with some regularity. (Maybe this month of NaBloPoMo will help me with this).