Well, I’m off the hook for a while. The pump to the pool was fried by lightning the day before yesterday. We swam yesterday morning, not knowing the pump wasn’t working. But the pool was officially closed yesterday until further notice. If it’s easily-fixable, we’ll be back to swimming soon. If it’s not, we won’t. The pool isn’t exactly the highest priority around here.
But why am I swimming at 6:00 in the morning in 62 degree weather anyway? That is a good question.
I am not a morning person. I absolutely hate to get out of bed. I especially hate getting up while it’s still dark outside. It just seems wrong; to me, it’s still night-time until the sun is shining.
I am not a very good swimmer. I don’t even really like being wet. I surely don’t like water splashing into my face. I definitely don’t feel in-control in the water. I feel pretty vulnerable, to tell the truth, like I’m just a few strokes away from drowning. I have never swum laps before, and I don’t even count how many I’m doing because it would be so pathetic. I do know that Julie, my swimming partner, can swim like three laps to my one. I feel like I’m swimming in slow motion. And I’m probably not even doing the strokes correctly. Let’s just say I’ll have a whole new appreciation for those swimmers when I watch the next summer Olympics.
I am not a fan of exercise in general. I once told a friend that I only ran if someone or something were chasing me and threatening my safety. I don’t like to sweat. I don’t like to be short of breath. I do like exercise that seems like playing — soccer with my kids, jumping on the trampoline (that we don’t have any more), dancing. In college, I walked with a friend early in the morning, and that was fun because I was with a friend (hi, Martha).
Lately, though, I have begun to exercise. I even made a “workout” playlist in iTunes, which has been the most fun part of the whole deal. Our office has turned into my private little workout space. I’d like to lose some weight I put on with those last three babies and with the chocolate chip cookies and chocolate ice cream that accompanied them, but I’d also like to be healthy and able to carry groceries up the stairs to our third-floor apartment without getting winded. I’d also like to be a better example to my children. And heart disease and type-2 diabetes runs in my family, and I’d like to not be at-risk. So I have been exercising just about every day.
When Julie approached me on Monday and asked me to swim with her, it just made sense. I’ve thought about swimming for exercise, but we can’t swim alone, so Julie’s offer solved that problem. It also would be nice to have accountability and a good reason to get myself out of bed early every morning. On the spot, I told her yes. I have questioned that response many times this week. I have wanted to back out more times than I can count. I especially wanted to back out as I crawled out of bed at 5:45 and then again as I creaked open the pool gate in the dark and then again as I dipped my toe into the freezing cold water.
Honestly, I pretty much hate almost everything about getting up early to swim. But I know it’s good for me. It’s good for me to do something I’m not at all good at. It’s good for me to make myself do something I hate. It’s good for me to get up early and have accomplished something before anybody else in my family wakes up. It’s good for my health. It’s good for me to pray my way through something that is too hard for me. Every. Single. Morning. And it’s a great example to my children.
So as soon as that pump gets fixed, I’ll be swimming my pathetic little handful of laps from 6:00 to 6:30 every morning. And until then, I’ll be in my private little workout room working up a sweat to my really cool workout playlist. And even if I don’t lose a pound, I’ll know it’s good for my body, good for my soul, good for my character. Even if nobody is chasing me.