When I wake I put on my bathing suit, and throw some slacks and a shirt over it. I check my gym bag, to make sure I have a fresh towel. I have breakfast with my daughter, glance at the paper, check my email. The day is beginning.
My daughter's ride comes, I kiss her goodbye, and pick up my bag and my keys. I make the mile drive to the gym, listening to some upbeat music or other... today, it is the Indigo Girls. I go in the door, swipe my membership card, and find my way to the women's locker room. Usually when I arrive it is deserted, though there may be an older woman or two, early for their water aerobics class. I pull off my slacks and top, pull out my swimming cap, earplugs and goggles. I grab my towel, shut the locker door, and head into the pool.
It is a regular, Olympic sized swimming pool.There are lane dividers in the pool, three wide lanes accommodating 6 lap swimmers very comfortably, 9 swimmers a little more snugly. My routine is to swim in sets of five laps, four of the crawl and one backstroke. Because I tend to lose count while swimming, I have taken to playing songs in my head. If I lose count, I can always think, well, what lap was I on when I started this song?
The water is not too warm, which I like. It is refreshing. I start at one end, and push off. I stretch and pull the water towards me, kicking my legs, trying to turn my head with the minimum required movement (trying to correct years of lifting my head out of the water, a waste of energy). In the water, my energy grows. I swim better as the laps increase. I can hear only the sound of my own breathing, the water swooshing past me. I can feel only the pull and push, the flex and release of my muscles.
I try to add at least a lap each day. One day I added three, because I felt so good. When I finally stop, usually because the water aerobics ladies and gentlemen have begun to fan out in the pool, I can feel my heart pounding. Sometimes I check my pulse; it's in a good spot for training.
As I leave the water, I return to the unforgiving force of gravity, pulling my heavy body into the earth. But as I walk back to the women's locker room, my legs just a little bit wobbly from the exertion, I know that my blue, true dream of water will be there again tomorrow.