Sunday, August 23, 2009

Swimming and Running

My hand slashes through the water. My feet kick behind me, propelling me forward. My head turns, rising up to take a breath.

I continue on until my hand touches the wall. I could grab the wall and hold on. Or I could turn, pushing off and moving forward. I choose to turn.

The wall approaches again. And again I choose to turn. Touching the safety of the wall, letting go, turning back to the water.

My body begins to tire. My resolve begins to falter. My mind starts to scream. "This is not normal. This is not safe. There is nothing holding you up. You are not a creature of the sea."

The water is not real. It is not solid. It cannot hold me. Panic sets in.

I try to fight my mind. I try to continue on. I thrash and kick out of control. My chest tightens. My pulse quickens. My heart thumps so loudly I can hear it in my ears. I lift my head trying to take a breath but there is not enough air. My hands frantically search for the wall but it lies just out of reach.

My foot hits the ground. The ground is solid. It is real. One foot, then the other, hitting the ground and pushing off, propelling me forward.

I look up and see the sky. I look down and see the ground. It is solid. It is real. One foot, then the other, moving forward.

Around me are signs of life. Grass, plants, dirt, the smell of the earth. Buildings, cars, concrete, the smells of civilization. A squirrel darts in front of me, looking frightened before it escapes to the safety of a tree. A dog spies the squirrel and strains on its leash, struggling to pull free to chase the squirrel. The hand at the end of the leash pulls back, straining to control, to regain their rhythm. We pass and smile, connecting with each other, connecting with the earth.

This is real. This is solid. One foot, then the other, moving forward.

My mind does not struggle here. The sound of my footfalls, the feeling of connecting with the earth brings a clarity. I breathe in the fresh air. Each breath bringing the peace I have longed for.

This is real. This is solid. One foot, then the other, moving forward.

I have been swimming lately. Some days all I do is swim, struggling to reach the shore. Swimming in my kitchen, swimming at the store, swimming in my sleep. Too much swimming. An endless pool, river, lake, ocean.

I choose not to swim anymore. I choose to run.

This is real. This is solid. One foot, then the other, moving forward.


mommygeekology said...

Swimming terrifies me. You wrote that beautifully.

Run. Do what you love. Life is too short.

Maura said...

Very vivid imagery. For some reason, I prefer to swim than run. Perhaps because in my dreams, it seems like all I do is run.

Issas Crazy World said...

Oh friend. Can I just come give you a hug? I so want too.

Keep running love, just keep it up. It'll get easier. I promise, it will.

Anonymous said...

I can now walk without a brace or cane. I can manage going upstairs the regular way, but not down yet. The water holds me up, frees my knee, my aches. Each of us is blessed by what they feel best doing.
You go girl. Be free to do, to be, to run...

anymommy said...

Before you know it, you're there. Swimming terrifies me.

Kristin said...

still reading and still loving :) This post is fabulous. You always say what I am thinking!