Yesterday, I discovered another fantastic quality to be found in moving with water – it’s swimming.
I swam the span of a 25-yard pool 50 times in an hour. I swam backstroke 850 yards and breaststroke 250 yards during the workout time with an average heart rate of 133 bpm. This was my first swim for the start of this year 2019. Summer is approaching, and I am hoping to make swimming a part of it.
The good part for me was that having confronted a stressful day, my brain signaled quite forcibly that it was time to work out and sweat it out.
It works marvels for me. I literally threw that awful load of stuff off my back with each arm stroke. I vented more fully with each steady and robust set of breaths during my breaststroke laps. In the end, I could just simply experience the breaths at short 20-30 second pauses at the edge of the pool and feel the breath of life as it invigorated and strengthen me.
I read a recent article “The New Rules of Middle Age, Written by Women” addressing midlife questions. Having entered from my mid towards my late forties, my journey is with a new form of forgiveness. Self-forgiveness and the important role that “sucking at something” plays as a life-giving experience.
In my mid-twenties, I did not finish an MBA program, literally one month before graduation. I had been an honor student and graduate in other fields in several highly respected universities. At the time, it felt like an unwelcome physically demanding passage from an identity fixation’s death towards the light coming from a life that brought with it a more authentic identity.
It’s the literal tumbling over, falling off and even being swept down deep off the surfboard, as both the experiences of Ms. Rinaldi (in the article) and Chris Bertish describe through their “testimonies.”
Those tumbling and wrestling moments with the “Angel” for me serve to carve a form of wisdom deep into my sinews. I come out through it limping…still knowing my name anew – as a kind of revelation. As the term, “Our True Selves,” often is used to describe this kind of discovery. There’s no doubt whatsoever for me – I am an Artist, not as a work title but as a gift from and of Life.
As a woman, I have for some time following my divorce needed to forgive myself, “for sucking at something,” also (weighing Ms. Rinaldi’s words.) In this case, it’s not the personal, really about mirrors or “vanity” and other traps. (Though, I fall into them more often than I care to, like everyone else).
Instead, it’s the regaining of self-trust. An ongoing wake up call to see with new eyes my own role as an advocate and protector of my well-being, and through this path the welfare of others, in tandem. Where well-being is not served, I know the importance of the traverse towards nurture, healing, and goodwill, and where this is not possible, the need for, and even value of, closure and endings.
Not to make any particular point of the earlier swimming numbers I listed, I could really be either so much better or worse as a swimmer, frankly. It’s all going back to the duality of either a glass being half-full or half-empty. That is a mindset that we each address regularly following our day to day experiences.
I’m learning to not make the call on the status of the glass until after I’ve run, swam or rowed, or worked out somehow, either in the gym or at the pool. And, when I can take a hike or a walk, especially for a number of hours and miles, I feel especially thrilled and even better. But, such times are still fewer than I’d like.
Hence, “Aqua Vita” – I went for a swim, and it worked its life-giving wonders, as a ready form of exercise “with and in” Water. It’s an experience towards the readily available enlightenment that nurturing one’s well-being can bring, as its own reward, both for ourselves and others. It’s an experience I can readily attest to, as well.