Typically, Friday is ‘swim day.’
An aquatic anomaly in an otherwise high impact movement routine.
Joyous as this break from the norm is, the commitment is at real odds with a) my dislike for cold water (the challenge is how long one can hover at waist height, before the ‘get on with it glances’ start to strong-arm me into the inevitable submersion), and b) my dislike for the ‘lane wars’ that inevitably unfold when four or more different swimming styles unite in one (in-my-opinion) too-narrow lane!
Unless the pool is warm and empty (a rare event, let me tell you), it’s generally as much as I can do to resist bypassing the pool COMPLETELY, and just heading straight to the sauna.
The only thing that stops my inner heat-seeking hedonist in her swim-skiving tracks, is the knowledge that so much of the healing salve of that hot room, is wrapped up in the cold, wet sufferance that precedes it.
I’m of course being hyperbolic when suggesting the ‘therapy’ that is swimming, might be something to be endured rather than relished.
I actually believe the latter.
That even just a few leisurely lengths, can a whole new energy and mindset make…and that’s without even taking into account the cumulative health gains of these token efforts.
Of course, swim day - in isolation - is not a panacea, nor is it prerequisite to awarding oneself some sauna time, of that I know!
What it is though, (or so I find) is evidence of the more visceral dividends of discipline. The dividends that fall outside the realms of that which can be measured.
Moreover, it's evidence that there's a short-termism to both 'delayed gratification' and 'future me' thinking, that's it's quite easy to overlook in this culture of 'long games' and 'five year plans.'
This, I'm sure, is something that if anyone can well relate to, it's the post-swim sauna surfers like me who - in those darkened moments of dopamine-fuelled disconnect - can't help but bask in the glow of something which feels a lot like indebtedness, to their half-hour-ago selves!