SWIM! Swim for your life! You don’t have a choice.

May 17, 2011 at 8:07 pm (Uncategorized)

Joy of joys!  After a promise to myself that I would stop feeding into the victim pattern of seeing so many doctors who have kept me sick and unhappy, I am over bronchitis (and yes, I did take the meds… I’m not going to be stupid here), and back to physical activity.

After a good workout yesterday at my boxing gym (I got my ass kicked, and then kicked my own ass some more), I figured that today, I would go for a swim, and mix things up a bit. 

On my beautiful, wonderful trip to Brazil, my lover and I decided to go to Buzios for a day.  It was paradise.  The greenish-blue water, the old tall-mast wooden ship we hopped on to sail the sea, the peaceful town, the scorching hot sunshine toying with the warm breeze… and as we jumped off the boat into the water, we realized that we couldn’t swim as strongly as we used to!  We definitely decided that we wouldn’t be able to fully enjoy surfing in the rough waves in Rio.  So, I decided to become a better swimmer.

With aching muscles from yesterday’s workout, I walked the half-block to the community centre and signed up with a cheap membership.  After half an hour of swimming, I was exhausted! Taking tired, sore muscles for a swim (think: tons of resistance through all that water) is pretty tough.  But I am SET on becoming a better swimmer. 

You know what’s so great about swimming? It’s pretty good motivation.  If you aren’t working hard enough, or aren’t strong enough… you drown.  Yep.  You can’t give up halfway through a lap the same way you can give up halfway through your treadmill run.  You stop swimming, you inhale water.  Damn good motivation for me!

Of course, the pool at the YMCA is only 1.2 metres deep during the lane swim times.  You won’t drown, you just touch the bottom of the pool and stand there, in everyone’s way. 

My point is: I have found that I LOVE exercise most when it involves learning a new skill.  It is amazing to think of the great things your body is capable of.  I am in awe of our strength and potential!  Any kind of exercise is great, but…

With boxing, I have become so much stronger.  I can lift heavier things, move faster, breathe easier, have peace of mind, AND defend myself.

Swimming is a life skill.  I can take a trip by boat with less worry, jump into a pool or the ocean with less worry, develop endurance and coordination, learn to breathe properly and hold my breath underwater… and enjoy developing this new skill.  Because if you don’t work hard at this particular skill, your survival may depend on it… and if you decide to jump off a boat one day… well, you may REALLY regret not getting enough exercise or practice.  Oops.

If you exercise solely to improve your appearance… let’s face it, you wont get very far or last very long.  If you don’t like the type of exercise you do, you will eventually burn out and stop doing it.  Unless you love it and are learning from it, you won’t keep it up.  Exercising for your well-being, to grow stronger and healthier, for pleasure, or to develop a new skill and perfect it… well, it’s easy to wake up in the morning for those kinds of things.  And, being a beautiful, healthy person will just be a great added benefit to feeling wonderful.

Not that I am suggesting that every sport should pose a risk to your safety.

But sometimes it helps push you a bit further if it does.

Happy sweating!

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