Swimming and Reading (Day 54)

I had to scrape a thick layer of ice off my car before I could drive down to the water today. This week is bringing a whole new level of cold to shake up us mild-weather-acclimated Californians. At the bulb, an icy wind blew, but not as strong as yesterday. The water was also calmer—energetic, but not so wavy. 

Today’s pod was Arwen, Colleen, and me. The water was at least as cold as yesterday with all of its attendant pains and thrills. The laughing, whooping drama of entry and the exhilaration of the next thirty minutes gliding and floating in the glorious water.

If possible, the air was even clearer today; the city, bridge, and Angel Island seemingly so close it felt we could swim to them. 

I’ve spent the last couple of hours immersed in a fascinating history of swimming.

Splash! 10,000 Years of Swimming by Howard Means, tackles the very long story of humans plunging into water. So far I’ve waded through the heyday of ancient Greek and Roman swimming and am now in Medieval Europe where swimming on purpose nearly disappeared.

Speaking of books, yesterday I created a page devoted to books about swimming. You can check it out here. Reading is my most reliable passion. When I die, “She read a lot of books” might be the truest thing to etch onto my gravestone (just kidding about the gravestone, please cremate me). So, I’ve started a list of swimming books and I welcome your suggestions. In particular, I’d love to discover more wonderful fiction in which swimming is its own character.

4 thoughts on “Swimming and Reading (Day 54)

  1. I’m swimming vicariously with you, Jenny, through these chilly and lovely waters! Thank you for sharing your adventures! As far as books on swimming, you might check out The Night Swimmers, by Peter Rock. I haven’t read it, but his other novel, My Abandonment, was beautiful and heartbreaking. xo, -va


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