This weekend I went to Maryland and swam in the masters National meet. Other than a fun meet last year, it was the first time I’ve competed it over ten years.
I had a blast! I met some local swimmers. I swam good times. I watched a 98-year-old woman compete.
Swimming is a weird sport–what other sport comes so close to being a sense-depriving experience? You hear little. You see the lines on the bottom of the pool and your own arms. Maybe you see people on deck. You feel the water flow past you and the complaint of muscles. You taste chlorine. And you go. As you go, your mind dissolves a little. I reach the wall, and all that matters is the number on the clock. If I close my eyes, I feel the sensation of dizzy flight. When I push hard, I don’t feel pain, I feel a lack of self. Swimming is a mental absence best portrayed by Ryan Lochte. It’s meditation achieved by depriving the brain of the chemicals it needs to sustain distraction.
I don’t know if this post is super relevant to my overall blog. That’s okay for today. Not every moment is about projects and writing and striving. The moments of joy are the poles that hold up the tent. Not every day in the water is a moment of joy, but enough of them are. The little things– a good meal, a good friend, a good workout– these hold up the motivation. Sometimes they deserve their own attention. What a weekend.