Repetition (Day 193)

It was another rainy Adult Swim. Promised thunderstorms didn’t manifest, just misty drippy skies and the repetition of swimming from one dock to the next over and over until I’ve done it 80 times. 

My mind goes through many stages in an hour of lap swimming. First, I’m so glad to be there. The water feels beautiful, my body celebrates movement, happily stretching and working.

Quickly, though, I begin to feel a bit uncoordinated and wonder if I’ve forgotten how to swim. Have I ever done this before? It’s like when you think too hard about breathing or swallowing and suddenly this taken-for-granted reflex seems complicated and weird.

Soon enough I’m in the rhythm, pulling, kicking, breathing, feeling natural again in the water. I begin to experiment with longer strokes, harder kicks, I count my breaths.

Then boredom strikes. How much longer? I try and entertain myself with interesting thoughts, but I keep losing the threads. Am I halfway through? Longer? How do marathon swimmers keep their brains occupied?

But then, without realizing it’s happening, I’m in a zone, thinking about nothing as I breathe; swimming from one end of the dock to the other; turning and breathing my way back, over and over until the hour is done. 

3 thoughts on “Repetition (Day 193)

  1. Dear Jenny, if someone is interested in swimming at the Albany Bulb, how would we go about doing that? Is there a sign up? I was referred to the bulb by Kaushik Basu, who had wonderful things to say about this group. Thanks so much.


    1. Uta–it is a wonderful group! You don’t need to sign up, just show up at the cement circle area at the end of the parking lot. There is a group that nearly always goes out at 8am (meet a bit earlier–get in at 8). Sometimes tides can change things up a bit and with the king tides the next few days they may shift if the tide is too low at 8am, but otherwise, there should be a group that will happily welcome you! I’m out of town now, but maybe I’ll see you in August!


      1. Amazing; thank you! And I’ve also spoken about this to a colleague, Tatiana Toro, who has been looking for a local open swim group. Thank you again!


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