Intervention: Anything But My Own Skin

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Early morning Swim Session

The last few days have been stressing me to pieces. Whether it's another deadline for school, the air conditioning going out in my jeep, or my dog, Beans, throwing up in the middle of the night, it feels like it is never going to end. I can't take it anymore. The daily stressors are piling to an unbearable level. I need a release. I need an escape. I need something to make me feel normal. One thing comes to mind. An early morning swim.

The night before I set my alarm for 6:30 a.m, in hopes of beating the Saturday morning rush to the indoor community pool. However, one obstacle stood in my way. Waking up. But I had to do something that would make me feel better. When the buzzing alarm disrupted the deep sleep I was in, my body pleaded to stay in bed. My eyes begged to close and every muscle tried to go loose in hopes of staying in the fetal position where I was nestled under the warm soft covers. NO! I know this will make me feel better. I have to get up. I have to create a way to make my-self feel better.

The buzzing alarm went quiet as I conquered the temptation to stay in bed. My feet hit the carpet and I stepped into my swimsuit.  As I drove to the community pool, the grogginess of the morning kept my eyes squinting.  It was 6:58 a.m, when I pulled on the steel handle attached to the glass door of the facility. The smell of chlorine burnt the hairs in my nostrils. Ironically, it was a comforting burn because my body knew this is where I could escape.

The next thing I knew I was diving headfirst into the cool pool water. Morning sunlight was beaming through the windows in the roof. It created patches of glowing rays piercing through the still water. As I swam under the surface and through the patches of euphoric sunlight, I gazed off to the right. There wasn't a soul around. Perfect! I had the entire olympic sized pool to my-self. Just what I wanted.

The air pulled into my lungs as my head passed back over the surface. I took a quick gasp and threw my right arm over head as I pulled my body into a free style swimming motion. My legs kicked and my arms alternated as I glided through the water. After four laps I took a thirty second break and swam four more laps. My entire body burned with fatigue, my lungs felt heavy, and my chest tightened. The lack of air from swimming under the water was becoming difficult. It didn't matter though. I just kept swimming. Thirty minutes passed before I called it a day. I had nothing left. It was just what I wanted. The endorphins encased my entire body as the high feeling floated from my head all the way to my toes. All the stress was gone and I felt renewed. 

Have you done anything to wash away the stress?  Or are you going to wait til you're wound so tight, you snap...?  

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