Monday, February 10, 2014

Thus Begins the Swim Season

I. Feel. Dead.

In a good way.

Today was the first day of another swim season. This is my sixth year swimming competitively, though I haven't swam year round since freshman year, due to lack of time in high school. Somewhere over the course of the year after the last swim season, I've unfortunately fallen severely out of shape. A once solid six-pack has been replaced by the dreaded six-flab, raisin lungs are very apparent, and stamina is nonexistent. Today's set wasn't even very hard, but I was still heaving by the end of practice. In my defense, I forgot to bring water, and water was always getting into my ear, but the truth is, if I want to be competitive again, I'm going to have to work harder. The main thing holding me back at the moment is my schedule. It looks something like this (times are approximate):

7:00am-8:00am – Wake up, morning routine, get to school
8:00am-3:00pm – School
3:00pm-4:00pm – Meetings, clubs, speech & debate, stretch & warm-up for practice
4:00pm-6:00pm – Swim practice
6:00pm-8:00pm – Clean up, go home, shower, dinner, etc.
8:00pm-8:30pm – Science homework
8:30pm-10:00pm – Math homework
10:00pm-10:30pm – History homework
10:30pm-11:00pm – English homework
11:00pm-????am –Whatever needs to be finished and sleep

Lather, rinse, and repeat the next day.

As much as I miss actually having time to procrastinate enjoy leisure activities, such as reading, watching movies, or hanging out with friends, there are plenty of upsides to being insanely busy. One, I only have to think about what I'm doing at the moment; I don't have time to think about what I'm feeling, which means less apathy upon reflecting on all the things that are wrong with the world. Two, I like being in shape. I can physically do more, I'm more alert during the day, and I'm less lethargic all the time. Also, since I'm so tired after swimming, I can sleep better at night, even if I don't get to sleep for a long time. It feels so wonderful to be doing something I enjoy again, and to know that I can still enjoy certain activities. It's quite ironic, but out of all the things that I do – art, speech and debate, swimming – I outwardly enjoy swimming the least. But despite all the cold and wet and the chlorine smell that lingers for months, swimming is something that I know I can succeed in if I commit myself to it. There are no judges to please, no critics to amuse. Just the embrace of the pool, and the smooth glide of my hands into the water, and out again as I pull myself forward with my own strength and willpower.

Each day I die, but my spirit is renewed.

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