Just Keep Swimming

After an hour, I want to quit. The muscles in my arms and legs have abandoned me like a crew lost without their ship. My lungs feel like the fire of a flame-thrower has landed in my chest. My head throbs like the ticking of a clock.


I want to quit. I want to quit. I want to quit.



Pushing off the wall, my arms form a defiant arrow above my head as I streamline past the flags. My nerves receive the cold water like a child receiving an unwanted kiss from an effusive aunt.

Stroke after stroke, flip-turn after flip-turn, interval after interval. Tick, tock, tick, tock.

As if drifting off to sleep, my mind wanders. Algebraic functions pass through briefly, stopping momentarily in my head like a car at a gas station with better places to go. A short-lived verse of “Don't Stop Believing” rings in my ears before my thoughts are catapulted onto another topic, like the abrupt shift of scenes in a dream. 2005 World Series Champions. My brother. Long car rides. Sudoku. Wakeboarding. Coffee crumb cake. My thoughts are like the images on a slideshow projector, flashing with instantaneous confidence before the next image replaces it.

Stroke after stroke, flip-turn after flip-turn, interval after interval. Glancing up, I realize the set is finally coming to a close.

The muscles in my arms and legs have located their ship. The fire in my lungs has been put out. The relentless ticking in my head has finally stopped. My body sings.

I smile, and can't wait to feel this way again.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

liisangel said...
Apr. 23, 2010 at 7:09 pm
I used to be a swimer. Unfortunately I had to quit... This is really inspiring though! S'really good:D
 
Lothorbein said...
Jan. 18, 2010 at 11:32 am
As a swimmer, I can identify with this. I haven't been in the pool in six months right now, and even though during those hours of practice I whine and complain and tell myself I'm going to quit and focus on school...Right now, I'm craving the water. Thanks for writing this.
 
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