swimming through life

September 25, 2013 at 4:30 pm 9 comments

Every once in a while, I take a stroll back into the recesses of my blog.  I always find it entertaining and enlightening to see what oozed out of my brain a few years ago.   It is also interesting to see where my mind was ‘spending it’s time’ – the dark basement, upper floors with plenty of windows, in the clouds or in another universe along with dark matter and alien life forms.  Here is a piece I posted on March 8, 2011.  (I have taken the liberty of editing a few bits and pieces.)

Swimming Pool = Water + Lane Lines = Life

‘Life as a swimming pool filled with crystal water and lap lanes framed by lane lines’.

Yes, I know.  It may sound a bit cliché and corny, but for some reason the thought recently entered my mind.  I have spent the better part of two, almost three decades in and around a pool.  I taught water fitness classes, trained for quite a few triathlons, rehabbed countless dance injuries, three knee surgeries and two herniated discs, relieved the discomfort of two pregnancies and countless life traumas – all the while as I was swimming back and forth and back and forth and back and forth.  Never once in those thirty years did I ever see a swimming pool as a metaphor of life.  NEVER.

How is it this metaphor came to be to me?  I was composing an email to a friend and trying to find a way to look at life in a more lighthearted manner.  I wanted to clear the heavy and suffocating air with a splash of water – a little something to stimulate the senses, create a little hope and possibly a smile.  Thus popping into my head….

The Swimming Pool –

‘Life is like swimming in a pool’ – no matter how many minutes, laps or miles, one moves back and forth and back and forth and…  It is an activity that only one person can do for themselves.  You can share a lane, even train with a partner or two but, when all is said and done, it must be you that swims the laps.  Practice makes you stronger and prepares you for whatever event you are training for or goal you may seek.  You may have extraordinary swimming days, middle of the road days or just down right horrible days.  The thing is you never really know until you jump in.

Water + Lane Lines –

Where do lane lines enter into this metaphor?  Quite simply they are there – right by your side.  Depending on your exact location in the pool, there may be one or two, but wherever you may be, a lane line will be present.  The purpose for a lane line is really two-fold.  One can think of them as the painted yellow lines on a highway.  They keep you moving along a straight path.  They can also be a kind of life preserver – a life line, so to speak.  When fatigue unexpectedly arises, the line is there to grab hold.  If you are in the middle of a 50 meter or 25 yard pool, the lane line is a welcome sight – a feeling of comfort and assurance.  It can be used as a momentary place to rest or as a tether.  Whatever the case may be, it is there to assist.

The actual lane line itself, can be one of three things – taut, with a little slack and very loose.  A taut lane line is nice, but not good for the actual material itself.  In time, the fibers on the cable strip away and, as a result, become very flimsy and ultimately rendered useless.  If a lane line is too loose, then it floats all over the place due to the current(s) in the water.  It can also become a hindrance, either cutting the width of the lane or widening it.   Anyway you look at it, loose lines make for a ‘swervy’ swim.  Swerving right and left can be very dangerous if you are sharing a lane.  Getting a head butt by an oncoming swimmer can be very dangerous, not to mention painful.  A perfect lane line is adjusted firmly – not too tight but not too loose – just a little give.  I like to think of it as a graceful wave, sort of like breathing, but instead of up and down, the lane line moves right and left.

Life –

Life is the swimming – the workout.  From the beginning to the end, it can be fun, exhausting, horribly trying at times and rewarding.

So, where is it I am going on this tangent?  The lane lines are our family, friends, teachers, confidants, etc…  They are there for guidance and support.  Sometimes they do get in the way – are a bit intrusive or a hindrance.  Then there are times we need or allow the ‘use’ of them – grabbing hold, supporting and/or tethering the way to our final goal or outcome.  There are times when a workout can be very trying and sometimes the unexpected can occur.  One can get overwhelmed, regardless of how accomplished or experienced a swimmer may become.  A cramp can surprise you without the slightest warning and having a lane line by your side to grab hold is truly a life saver.

My Life…

When it comes to swimming, I personally prefer the lane lines that are not too tight or too loose.  I enjoy the swim and try very hard not to use the lines, but I do take comfort in knowing they are there.  I like to know there is a line – a special someone who I can grab hold of in a paralyzing moment of fear or indecision.  I do not require they swim my workout for me. Only I can swim the laps that go back and forth. I do, however, want to trust they are capable of support and can prevent me from drowning…….. falling into that chasm which will prevent me from reaching the other end of the pool, my final goal or inevitably living my life.

Entry filed under: blogs, depression, family, friendship, goals, human nature, ideas, life, Parenting, Personal, ponderings, Relationships, thoughts, writing. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

a morsel of autumn but then – gone

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. MichelleMarie Antell  |  September 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    ❤️This a lot. I can so relate! I am a lap swimmer as well. Well let me say when I get my lazy butt to the pool. My little town has a fantastic Olympic size pool. I agree with you metaphor about lanes. In my case lose lanes I. The swimming pool of life have caused more head butts then you would like to know.
    The thing I love about swimming laps is that when under the water it’s like you’re in your own little world. For me anyway I love the fact that I can do it alone. Another wonderful thing we have in common!
    I wish I had more time to go through everyone’s blogs I’m so glad that you brought this to my attention.
    I love where your mind took me while reading this!!! ❤️🌸🌸🌸😃

  • 2. Skye @ TheSanctuaryofMyHeart  |  September 25, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Love this!! I am so glad you reposted it!!

    • 3. words4jp  |  September 25, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      i made a few changes. the irony is this was written to the ex. i was always there for him, but…….

  • 5. Theresa  |  September 25, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    What a woman! Insightful 2 years ago, insightful now…

  • 6. Dom DiFrancesco  |  September 25, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    This is a great post that I can relate to in many ways. I’m sure that even though it is 2 years old it is just as relevant today. Very well done and thank you for sharing it…again as I never got to read it the first time. 🙂

  • 7. ordinarygirlinbrum  |  September 28, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    I like this. Except I’m not sure what you do when you feel as if you are drowning and you can’t find your lane lines… x x

    • 8. words4jp  |  September 30, 2013 at 1:35 am

      Believe me – I have been in open water with no lane lines. I have floated on my back for a while to get my bearings and then try to swim again. I have done quite a bit if back floating:)

      • 9. ordinarygirlinbrum  |  September 30, 2013 at 2:01 pm

        That’s what I’m doing now, I believe x x

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