Slow (Day 118)

People often assume that because I swim every day I must be a good swimmer.

I am not.

I am a slow swimmer with passable form. I can’t remember taking swimming lessons, though I’m sure that I did. I spent lots of time in pools, lakes, and the ocean growing up and it seems like I always just knew what to do.

It’s not just swimming that I do slowly. I walk and bike slowly. When I deign to jog, walkers pass me by. During the height of the quarantine in 2020 I was walking at least five miles a day while the rest of my family mostly sat in front of their computer screens on zoom calls; and yet, whenever we’d go for a walk together, they would leave me in the dust.

Whatever gains I made in the speed department in the last months of daily swimming have all abandoned me post-COVID. I really don’t mind. Swimming slowly means I have time to look around, to appreciate the light, the birds, the feel of the water. To take pictures.

Today Colleen and I went for an early swim. We met at 6:00, by which time the day was already brightening. Pretty soon we are going to have to set off at 5 if we want to catch the sunrise.

A cold wind whipped around us and we ran into the bay (ala Bay Watch) to get in the comparatively warm water.

There was a bit of a chop; just enough for a fun, rolling swim, but not so much that I swallowed gallons of sea water. Murmurings of sanderlings swooped this way and that as the sun made its way above the horizon.

I forgot to bring my flippers so I was even slower than I might have been, and Colleen swam ahead and then darted back periodically. Several other swimmers were also out for an early dip and the morning felt festive.

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