Jan 22, 2014

22 Minutes @ 29 Degrees

Temperature in Atlanta, GA at 1:05pm today

Today I tried something that for many years I wouldn't think of doing. 

I went for a swim at an indoor pool when the temps outside were 29*. The difference today, I signed up at a gym 3 miles from my house where I had previously confirmed that the locker room and pool area were comfortably warm. So I said to myself, "What's the worse than can happen?" I will be cold for a bit and then rush home. 

So off to the gym I went, I had all my stuff, swim goggles, slippers, towel, etc.  There were 4 lanes available at 1pm, one was not being used, I could hear the water calling, Elena, Elena, over here.  I quickly put my goggles on and took the plunge and started swimming. 

Immediately I was in a place that I absolutely love and enjoy, the water.  My preference would be the ocean, at the same time, on January 22nd, in Atlanta, in the middle of winter, I was thrilled to be swimming. I pushed myself off the side of the pool and drifted as far as I could under the water, loving the warmth, listening for the sounds of my breathing and the overall quiet of the pool. Two ladies were swimming very slowly in the lane next to me and the same on the other side, two gentlemen using kick boards.  I swam back and forth for 22 minutes and look forward to coming back. 

I am not sure where, when or why I developed my incredible love for all things water. Maybe it is the memories of swimming lessons with my Mom, at the Olympic Pool in Panama or going to Fort Amador in the Canal Zone and Taboga Island and getting to experience the ocean, or maybe the frequent Sunday outings to Linda Vista, where Grandpa Rogelio had two pools for the Arosemena grandkids. 

Perhaps it was the 9 months I spent floating in my Mother's womb, where I was safe and being taken care. Maybe its the solitude that one invites when swimming; the push, pull, and kick of arms and legs, not a team sport. 

I love that all of me is moving when I swim, I love that my lungs are loud, I can hear the breathing in my head. I love the clarity of my thoughts when my eyes are focused on the blue tiled line that marks the middle of each lane for the swimmers. 

I love the water. And for the record, I was never cold. The facilities at this gym are awesome. They even have a machine in the locker room where you place your wet bathing suit in a small cylinder, your close the lid and it spins the suit completely dry in 15 or 20 seconds. 

I look forward to trying other new activities and adventures. And thanks to my sister, Ana, for keeping me focused on living a healthy life that includes daily physical activity. Love you ! Love you ! Love you !