I like to exercise. I like to run and play and I like to be able to do those things. I like feeling alive while I am in the middle of using my body, and I like the way I feel afterwards, and the effects I feel in my body when I exercise regularly.
I cannot do any of those things right now without serious pain. I sprained my ankle three months ago and now I’m dealing with complications and a fun extra bone I didn’t know I had. And so I have not been able to play on the Ultimate Frisbee team with my husband, or go and take a walk when I feel like it, or even spend as much time cooking as I would like.
It hurts to do silly things like go to the grocery store, or walk barefoot. (Walking barefoot is a very hard thing for me to give up. Very hard.)
And, unfortunately, the thing that comes with ceasing all types of exercise is that I have become sedentary and now my clothes don’t fit as well… It’s like being back in Peace Corps!
I am now slow, when I am so used to being fast.
It will be a while before I can heal and recover… so in the meantime, I needed to find some alternate solutions. I have found myself more tired and lazy since I cannot get my endorphins from regular exercise. I needed to do something.
I have begun to swim.
I’ve only gone three times, but I am starting a good rhythm and a good routine. I go, I swim half a mile in a little over 30 minutes, then I shower and come home. And ice my foot. It is good, because I am using my whole body, but I am not having to put any weight on my foot that has been hurting. I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me when I am in the pool. Once I figure out a better way to count my laps I will even be more comfortable with letting my mind wander to other ideas and writing and sermon preparations. The times that I have gone I have been one of the only ones in the pool, yesterday I was alone the whole time, and had the whole pool to myself. (I think it is Olympic length, six lanes wide, but only one of them is marked… so I don’t use the lanes yet; I like to drift.)
There are windows up where people who are on other levels walk by. I wave sometimes if they are watching me. I swim on my back, because it is easier for me to breathe, and it is how I am more comfortable in swimming. I change my strokes and alternate from using just my legs and just my arms and my whole body.
I feel so heavy when I get out of the pool, but the way that I feel throughout the rest of the day is worth that temporary heaviness. I am hoping that as I come more frequently and it becomes part of my weekly and daily routine that I have more energy through the day and sleep better at night. I’d love for my clothes to fit better.
But I also just like to swim. I’d sing if I didn’t think I’d swallow half the pool. I like this way of feeling this body I am created as. I feel more alive while I use God’s gift of creating me the way I am; extra bone and all.