Swimming and writing
Since we moved from cold Belgium to Spain, I feel obliged to swim as soon as the pool opens, which is in April. Yes, in April! We may be living in the sunny South of Spain, Andalucía, but the water is still cold in April, I can assure you.
So when I got into the water this morning, I had some kind of inspiration as I thought: swimming and writing have a lot in common. I have to admit though, that a lot of things seem like writing these days, not only when I am swimming. But hey, writing is an absorbing process and it takes over your life, my life anyway.
So, there it is: swimming and writing.
I’ll do the swimming and you use the metaphor for your writing process. OK?
1. I shave my legs
Before I go to the pool, I shave my legs. Who wants to see a woman with hairy legs? Nobody, I guess. So that’s what I do, when I am planning to go for a swim. Even if I don’t have hairy legs, I imagine I do and I shave my legs. Just to be sure.
I almost forgot: I put on an ugly swim cap, as my hair turned green last summer. I had to rub ketchup in it, to take the green colour away and I wasn’t too happy doing that. Though I like ketchup on my toasty, my hotdog and my French Fries. Or in mayonnaise. But not on my hair.
2. I go down the stairs and swim
No bravery needed, just a short moment of courage. I don’t jump into the water. No. I go down the stairs, feel the water, think that it is cold and start swimming in it, in the cold water. And then I die. I die during two strokes. It’s cold, it’s inhuman, I’ll never do it again … and then it’s over. It feels good. It feels really good.
I don’t feel the cold any more, only the water that carries my weight.
3. I fly
Did you ever notice that swimming feels like flying? I do. When I am swimming, I’m becoming lighter and lighter and lighter, till I get the feeling that the water isn’t there anymore, that I am flying, that I’m happy and free.
Till my muscles hurt or till I swallow some water. Then reality makes me cold and heavy again.
But when I don’t feel like leaving the pool, I do continue swimming.
4. I save the occasional frog
I am not a particular fan of frogs, but when I see one, poisoned by chlorine and struggling in the water, or floating on the surface, I get out of the pool, take the net that hangs on the wall, fish the frog out of the water and release him in the grass.
One good deed a day and sometimes more. When there are a lot of frogs, like in April.
Some frogs survive, some die, some were already dead when I fished them out of the water. Poor frogs!
5. I add some swim laps every day
In the beginning of April, I start with twelve laps a day , then I add one or two every day and, as I am lazy, I usually stop at twenty.
Sometimes I swim another twenty laps the same day. At another moment. When I feel like it.
6. I feel really good, hope you feel good too!
At a certain point, I decide to leave the pool. It’s when I am feeling tired or having arm muscle cramps or being hungry or simply wanting to do something else.
One thing is certain: I feel satisfied. I feel satisfied that I went to the pool, braved the cold water, continued to swim when I did not feel like it any more or simply because I swam the laps I wanted to swim.
And when I feel like it, I can always come back to the pool.
But whatever the case, I feel good. I feel really good!
I do hope you feel good too, beloved fellow writer! I wish you lots of success.