My title is misleading: Today’s swim WAS special. It was a gorgeous calm, flat day with a quiet fog settled over everything so that the horizon all but disappeared. I was back to swimming with my swim pal, Angie, which made me very happy and we were joined by many other friendly faces (and our resident seal). A beautiful swim!
But seeing those friendly faces today–Colleen who fearlessly swims alone most days, often with the seal (we think the seal is a bit in love with her); Kira, whom it fills my heart with joy every time I lay eyes on having first met her over ten years ago in the writing group I joined when I moved back to California and who was open water swimming even back then and continues to get out there any chance she gets; Marcia who is the friendly face of the Albany Bulb swimmers, swimming nearly every day and always happy to bring others into the fold; Kaushik, who is still swimming skins (despite having zero body fat) and who finds a way to get a swim in even when he has to be at work early. These are just the ones I saw today. Indeed, for so very many people my resolution to swim every day must sound like resolving to brush your teeth each evening; something you might miss once in a blue moon due to extraordinary circumstances, but that you mostly do without even thinking about (definitely without blogging about).
Many times in my life, thoughts like these have derailed me. I’ll get excited about an idea, motivated to write or create something that seems super cool to me, and then I’ll realize it’s already been done, usually better, by oodles of other people and so I give it up. Maybe it’s residual damage from graduate school where “study the unstudied” was a mantra that left me at sea many times. What if what I’m passionate about has already been studied? What if someone has already told this story before?
This time, I’m saying, who cares? I bet someone could write a blog about brushing their teeth every evening for a year and it would be interesting to someone somewhere, or at least be a worthwhile endeavor for the person writing it. In the great scheme of human endeavors, swimming every day might not be that special, but I’m not going to let that thought dissuade me from doing it (and blabbing about it here afterward).