In the summer 2016, in the midst of personal upheaval, I was spending my spare hours immersed in the Rio Olympics, and I decided that, at long last, I would learn how to swim.
Many of my circumstances were completely out of my control and I was striving to focus on how I was reacting to them. But this felt like an opportunity to do something healthy that I could control.
I found individual lessons at the nearest YMCA and dove in.
(Not literally. Diving is terrifying.)
I did my first round of eight lessons — twice a week for four weeks — in fall of 2016 and finally learned to swim at the age of 36.
I signed up for another round in January of 2017 to learn more and improve.
I was able to build a routine that I swam at least twice a week.
And then in February of 2020 it became clear that going to the pool may not be the best choice.
And then the pools closed for awhile.
And then I had a baby.
My girl is pretty much always with me, so swimming laps wasn’t a feasible option for exercise.
Then we moved and it took several months to figure out the logistics of life in a new place, surrounded by new people.
This morning, roughly 22 months since my last swim, I returned to the pool.
I was pleased to find I wasn’t nervous at all, and thrilled to find I remember how!
I’m sure my form leaves a lot to be desired, and, oof!, have I lost a lot of endurance.
It was hard.
I am so very tired.
And it was G O O D.
We’re committed to making routine swims possible for my physical and mental health as we step across the threshold into this new year.
May your year bring you what you need.
May you find the wiggle room you need to create space for it.