Google searches: Breast stroke technique (disappointing. I need to learn underwater breathing before improving the rest…)
I went swimming today, after a long-ish break (haven’t gone since Edinburgh Festival). Giddy from the in-the-water euphoria, I deliberated how swimming is a perfect sport for a writer. Which it is! At least for this writer… 🙂
But still. You can do it with minimum equipment (granted, if you want fancy gear, don’t let me stop you!), your sweaty body gets immediately refreshed and it’s easy on the joints. Back pain reduction also doesn’t hurt (a PUN! Okay, let up, I’m still giddy), you get abdomen muscles with minimal fuss and repetitive movement can be soothing (that bit is personal, it would be annoying for some).
And the most important thing: WATER.
I love, love, love being in the water.
Lying on the water is a favourite; it’s beautiful to let it just carry you, feeling the minute changes of currents, that even an artificial environment like a pool will have, water sloshing this way and that, with gentle waves from your fellow swimmers coming your way. *** But swimming itself, conquering the space with the strength of your body alone – such a perfect counterpoint to writing, as well as a representation of it! You are the steering wheel, the sailor and the ship (to misquote a Polish poem). You are the inspiration, the work and the editor. You are the moving, straining body; an ever mobile, reaching mind.
You are the child in the womb; the grown human being, daring to look life in the face and comment.
You are everything at once.
And you get a lot of new writing ideas in the shower, after….
*** just make sure fellow swimmers aren’t giving you the evil eye, because you’re in their way…!