Friday, 13 July 2012

Swimming after silence

Swimming is one of those simple pleasures in life. Since becoming a runner earlier this winter I have been waiting for that moment when running feels just as natural and relaxing as swimming. I hope that one day I will be able to duplicate that feeling.

Living on the east coast of Canada, it is extremely difficult to avoid being near a body of water. Luckily, my parents recognized how important swimming would be in a province full of lakes and surrounded by ocean. From an early age I was in swimming lessons, followed by synchronized swimming and then eventually lifeguarding, teaching and coaching. Honestly, making swimming a priority was such an important choice. Through swimming I not only stayed active, but found a job, found volunteer opportunities, made lifelong friends and created amazing memories. Swimming is also an escape for me, and each year as summer approaches I anxiously await the moment when I either don my wetsuit or my bathing suit and take my first plunge into the water. There have been many a party-goer who has jumped at the sight of a wetsuit hanging on the back of my bathroom door.

Medford Beach, Nova Scotia
This year it was a little later than expected, June 21, but it did not disappoint. Each summer I spend as much time as humanly possible in the lake, a little less this year due to the injuries. I swim occasionally throughout the winter, normally when my back is bothering me or to prepare for summer swimming. However, nothing compares to swimming outside. My way to achieve serenity is to drive to the lake early in the morning when no one is there and go for a swim. At that hour the water is pristine. It is so calm there is barely a ripple. It is so quiet that the only sound is the slight splash your body creates as you glide through the water.

Early morning silence at the lake
Swimming is one of the gentlest forms of exercise on your body. It is low impact and serves as an ideal option for runners who are trying to crosstrain. If you are injured you should seriously consider going for a swim, especially if you have back or neck problems. This is one of the first things I do when I have an injury as it helps to promote healing.

Working at a lake each summer throughout high school and most of university completely spoiled me. I spent hours and hours each week in the water, and since starting my career I have been chasing after every spare moment to spend time swimming. I have become jaded though, I am forced to swim after work amidst all the young bucks and screaming children. I love children and have nothing against young adults, but, they cramp my style out in that lake. I want to swim in silence. I am selfish; I want the whole lake to myself, and call me crazy, I do not want to worry about a hooligan stealing my towel and car keys!

Chocolate Lake, Nova Scotia

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