Thursday, July 25, 2013


Some people eat when they're sad or overwhelmed. I've never understood this. perhaps I'm too italian. For me, food is about sharing. I'd far rather rip apart the entire kitchen, making beef Wellington to share with friends over a lingering dinner that includes wine and conversation than I would devour a whole tub of Nutella sobbing under the sheets.

Other people go in for yoga. Please. Maybe I'm too Aries. Who on earth has the patience to stand in tree pose for unending minutes, connecting to the positive energy flow? Honey, if that's your thing, I applaud you. Rock on with that healthy mind/healthy body correlation.

When I find there's too much chaos in my head, too many piles of paper on my desk, too much noise invading the places I need quiet, I swim. The water makes everything better. The metronome of the stroke and the breath. One lap after another. Rhythmic. Soothing. Thinking about nothing other than passing through the water to the other side of the pool.

And what a pool, when it's the one at Rice Unviersity. Olympic-size. Well cared-for. With a diving well, even. I admit it's psychological, but I like it much better when the lap lanes are set up across the width of the pool.  Twenty-five yards across seems vastly more managable than 54 yards long, even though I know my typical swim is around 1,000 yards, total. It shouldn't make a difference how they're counted. I also have a weird thing about the bottom of the pool. I don't like watching the water get deeper and deeper below me. I've never bothered to ponder this; I've been swimming nearly my whole life, so it makes no rational sense. I just chalk it up to one of those personality things.

No matter what, though, the pool is sanctuary. No problem is so insurmountable that it can't be fixed with a half-hour swim. No demon chasing me can intrude on the sanctuary of the pool.

In addition to always feeling better following time spent in the pool, I realize there's actual exercise happening. And, as a lazy exerciser at best, I appreciate this. Guess next I'll have to determine how many calories are in that beef Wellington and how many yards it would take to swim them off...

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