Water, Water Everywhere ...
I miss being physically strong. It used to be that I could hold my own against anyone around my size and quite often against people bigger than me too. I don't like looking weak or asking for help. I think this comes from the horribleness that was elementary school gym class, where I was always made to appear weak and incompetent and came to believe it before being brought gently to reality by my first skating teacher. In recent years--changing jobs, starting grad school, and then these recent pain issues--I haven't been able to take exercise for a variety of reasons. So I'm no longer strong like I used to be, which I don't like. Swimming is something I've always liked--I intensely dislike most forms of exercise, i.e. anything involving team sports or running--and been good at. And it's low-impact enough that I hope I can get a good workout without hurting badly afterward.
We went to the pool for the first time today. There is a lap pool and a recreational pool. I thought, when we arrived, that I'd be happy with a few gentle laps, just to get myself stretched and back into the motion. I haven't swam in earnest since moving to Carroll County, which is now six years. At ten laps, I thought, "I'll go for 25." At 20, I decided, "Why not 30?" My former self could swim forever* and would find 30 laps laughable, but my present self was really happy with that, especially since I swam hard for about half of those laps. I was starting to feel a little tired by the end of it. I figure I'll increase by four laps each time I go until I can swim forever again, then ramp up the intensity.
* I am extremely buoyant, so I don't have to work to keep myself afloat, just to move through the water. With a normal lungful of air, I can wrap my legs into a lotus, cross my arms, and float with the water at my chin. If I empty my lungs of air, I sink to just below my nose. This was always a good thing--when I was a kid, I never understood why we had to tread water to pass swim tests, since treading water was literally no effort for me, since I don't even have to move my arms and legs to float upright with my head above water--until I did my open water scuba certification and got out into the quarry and couldn't sink. I explained to the divemaster that I needed more weight because I'm unusually buoyant yadda yadda, and he kindly mansplained to me that that was impossible and I was just nervous and holding air in my lungs. Thank you, sir, for clarifying that twenty-some years of experience in my body, swimming nearly every day in the summer as a kid, wasn't real all that time! Eventually, not surprisingly, he had to put more weight on me, and I sank like a stone.
Yesterday was the 4th; we had a party: small but fun, consisting of both sides of the family and our friends Tristan and Don. After everyone left, Bobby and I were sitting outside, having a drink and enjoying the gorgeous evening, when we realized that we could see the Manchester fireworks going off through the trees. So we drove to the end of the street and watched them from there. In six years here, we never realized that we could see them from up here. It was also cool because our street looks west into the Blue Ridge Mountains, and we could see other fireworks going on out there, in miniature form and complete silence. The fireflies that fly late around here--Photinus consimilis, I think--and emit three or four flashes in quick succession were out in the trees, competing with the fireworks. (Here's a good article about Maryland fireflies.) Tomorrow, we are going on a bus trip with my parents to Atlantic City for the day.
This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!