Posted by: jujuridl | February 11, 2010

Swimming Uphill

You know those dreams when you’re trying to get somewhere, do something, but your legs are too heavy, and you can’t make a move?

The waitress dream is table after table of new customers, and you’re trying to get to your tables to pour water and take orders, but you can’t, while orders nobody placed are piling up in the kitchen. The student dream is tomorrow’s exam, but you haven’t been to class all semester.

I have many versions of this dream, but the weirdest latest one: I have to swim uphill to get to my family. They’re up there, on an island atop this mountain of ocean. And I should be able to reach them, but I’m swimming so slowly and getting so tired. I never make it. I just wake up tired.

So returning to swimming at the pool has been a wee bit worrisome for me. I imagined that I’ve grown so out of shape I would just be recreating that nightmare, that the far side of the pool would be too far out of reach for me.

But I also knew that with inflamed joints I really have no other options. I had to get into that pool, face down the dream, start somewhere.

So I rejoined the little club, and programmed all the open lap times into my calendar, packed my gym bag, even finding all my pool gear, my various goggles and swim fins and lap counter.

I sat on the edge of the pool and went through my goggle bag. The elastic on every pair but one had rotted out. My battery-operated lap counter, of course, was dead. So were all of my swim caps.  It’s been awhile since I swam, okay?

I grabbed a kickboard and held on for dear life, just sure I’d never make a lap without it.

But here is the happy surprise. Not only could I do it, but I completed many laps with barely a rest in between. And not just any laps, but one or two of them with a decent semblance of form. I chucked the kickboard pretty quickly, and smiled inwardly, and just swam and swam. The water stayed flat. No mountains anywhere. It behaved just the way I can rely on water to behave in the real and rational world.

That was a couple of weeks ago. I’m pretty chlorinated now. Friends returning from their southern treks are urging me into water aerobics classes too. And I’ll enjoy those for the girliness of it, but there is nothing quite like laps. I may be more of a manatee than a seal, but we’re all graceful in the water. Blue grace. Blue, quiet grace.

Sorry for not checking in sooner, gang. I’ve been a bit plowed under. I expect I will be now and then. Get this: I’ve tested positive for Lyme Disease. I’m quite surprised about it, but it certainly explains the past couple of years. Started on an antibiotic, and I think it may already be helping.

So, here’s to stepping right past your fears and anxieties and just starting again. It feels so good.

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Responses

  1. I know that dream – my version is that I have to present a paper, and it is the day of the talk, and I have not even started to prepare it. In my dream, I run around like mad trying to get it together, and wake up exhausted. Once, I actually did some real work in my dream.

    I’m so glad that, given that you have LD, you have the diagnosis. Better than having it and not knowing. Do you think this explains your joint problems?

    I love swimming, too. But I hardly ever manage to do it.

    It’s great that you’re back!

  2. So good to hear that you are in the pool. Dow Ctr sometime? The laps are soothing…

  3. I’m sorry to hear about the Lyme Disease. I hope the antibiotics help and that your health will improve with a diagnosis and treatment. I love to swim, but it’s been ages since I was in the pool. Your post encourages me to return to taking a few laps of my own.

  4. It’s too bad it took so long to diagnose the Lyme Disease. If they had caught it sooner you could have started the meds and started feeling better sooner. Best wishes.

  5. THANK YOU, for your blog! i just started one of my one, and yours is so inspirational.

  6. I’m very sorry to hear you have Lyme disease, but I’m going to be selfish for a moment and be thrilled you have started blogging again! I’ve literally been checking for years now, hoping you would get the urge. I am so excited I had to post before reading anything. Welcome back, Juju! We have missed you!

  7. I always get those dreams where I cannot move my legs. Sometimes I wonder if it has something to do about my weight or I don’t know. Thanks for this post. I’m kinda new here.


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