Thursday, July 11, 2013

Stump Swimmin'

Has it been a whole year that's gone by since last summer? You know, when I had to duck out of Women Swimmin' For Hospicare because of knee surgery? Ditch the August 1.2 mile romp across Cayuga Lake (one of the Finger Lakes) for a great cause & leave the swimmin' to 300 other like minded gals?

Well, I'm back in the water again, replaced knee kicking like a sonofagun (painless! yay!), gone-leg phantom-kicking. (I used to think the phantom leg helped. Now it seems to be slacking.) Did some swimmin' last winter at a local school's pool starting in January when it was snowing outside. That felt good, but I don't miss the chlorine. I'm an open-water swimmer, apparently. It's like the difference between riding a horse in a ring instead of cross-country. Bring on the lake. (You can sponsor me at Women Swimmin For Hospicare).

I jumped in my pond a few weeks ago, but it's approximately the size of that pool. Just add too many cattails & some muck on the bottom. I love my pond, but the short laps seem to vex me. (No room to gallop! See above horse reference.)

So last weekend I headed over to my friend's pond a few miles away. This is a bigger pond
and my friend, obsessed triathlete that she is,
marked out a 50-yard lane. Perfect!

Last weekend I swam ten laps: a thousand yards. Today I swam fifteen hundred. I should have swam (swum? No: I'm not even going to attempt to Google the tenses of "to swim"...) in between, but since I hadn't, I figured I'd act like I had. It seemed to work.

Swimming gets easier for me every year. I never swam (swimmed?? swum??) laps or distance before I was an above-knee amputee. Now you can't keep me away from my goggles, earplugs & rubber bands on my wrists (to keep track of laps.) The flat-out exertion is something I loved all my (two-legged) life; now the water gives me the feeling of being able to push my muscles and endurance the way few other things do. My arms get to pump and stride the way my legs did as a kid.

The water is brown (not chlorine-blue, but brown, as water is meant to be!) and the sun shining down into it makes the bubbles bright. When I get into the Zone (swimmer's high!) I feel like I'm flying down some long crazy water slide, a cosmic fresh-water creek, shooting whitewater rapids/body-surfing with  half an acre of bass.

The first 500 yards I have to be diligent. The second 500 are enjoyable. The third are half trippy/giddy, half wind-down. And the best thing? You don't feel yourself sweat.

The worst thing? I've live fifty-one years without being able to conjugate the verb "to swim". & I'll be damned if I know another one to use in its place.

But maybe those who can't, conjugate; those who can, swim. Check out my sponsor page!

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