Feathers for Flying

Yesterday brought discouragment. I'd pinned so much on going to the beautiful community sport center to swim and strengthen my back. 

But once there, there was nothing for the likes of me. The leisure pool and "water-walking" lanes were only thigh-deep (at the deepest point), and both were too crowded for much independent movement. Unfortunately, I need my back to be comfortably submerged so I can slowly and weightlessly work those muscles.

There is an Olympic pool, though, and it's about six-feet deep. Perfect. (But does anyone else want to snarl against the trend that redefined the "deep end" to something so different from our youths?) It even has gradual access (well done!). But, it's summer vacation and most lanes stay reserved for swim classes. Of the four lanes remaining, one is designated for slow swimmers. I really need to do some other exercises before attempting laps, but I was willing to work with what I could and try the laps... until I saw that each lane had about six swimmers in it.

Each lane.

I can swim properly (if you'll accept that I faked my rhythmic breathing for my 10th grade swim final and instead just held my breath for the length of the pool). But not even in my prime (sadly, also the 10th grade) would I have attempted to share a single lane with six other people.

But that's apparently working for others and so, yay, good for them. Perhaps my life has been somehow even more sheltered than I thought, and I will be grateful that so many can enjoy the pool and not incredulous over the lack of personal space. (At the health club in Texas, I usually had the whole darn pool to myself. I know that's not good, either.)

I was sure I was being unreasonable and just needed time to realize that the set-up was actually perfect. Waiting for my "ack! NO!" mood to settle, I walked back to the car while Mike talked to the people at the desk and looked at everything more closely to find the overlooked option of a neck-deep spot of water where I could stretch, tread, hang on to the side and kick, and of course pretend to be a graceful mermaid.

Watching Mike cross the parking lot, I could see that his well-practiced  "look, it's not perfect, BUT" sales pitch was nowhere on his face. Our only option was to rent a lane. With a day's reflection now gone by, I suppose that's something Mike will call back and ask about, but considering that it was going to cost both of us $16 per visit just to wade around and use the hot tub (also busy and shallow), I think it's time to consider other options.

Like swimming in the ocean.

Mike hates swimming in the ocean. He doesn't even like the feeling of beach sand (not even at a squeaky Disney water park). This is someone who wouldn't even have to be paid four digits to lick the bottom of his shoe if he thought it would get the right laugh. I don't get it.

Me, as a child I would swim in anything, murky lakes with fidgety minnows and thick mosquitos perhaps being my specialty, but I'm much more squeamish as an adult. I love the clear bit of the ocean where you can see straight through to the sand, and the foam against the shore, and even the swish of a sweet little fishie nearby.

But anything beyond that, where the water is dark and bumpy, is a potential sludge of industrial rot, well-preserved condoms, sentient algae, and poop.

And sharks.

Shark attacks are much in the news of late. Even Mike, who generally shares my aversion to killing things just for the sake of human comfort (or even safety), has reluctantly joined the stabby side. (Are menacing sharks killed with stabby things? Or is there a Batman-style green vapor released in their patrol zone that gently puts them to sleep? Then the shark is gently retrieved from the water and enters shark hospice? It's at times like this that I wish so much that I could draw.)

I don't know how this is going to work out. Ocean? Using Google Maps to figure out which of the neighbours has an old-fashioned deep pool then knocking on doors and working out a deal? Build my own shark hospice tank out on the balcony?

It is a funny-ish coincidence that we refer to my regular walks around the apartment as "sharking." "Don't lie in bed too much," They say. Well, if one can't lie in bed, and one absolutely can't sit - the car ride home yesterday led to more agony than I want to dwell on today, and one is advised not to stand in one spot for too long, then one paces. Like a shark that can't sleep.

It is as maddening as you'd expect.

(In fact, I'm typing this at the kitchen counter, marching in place and walking laps around the dining table every paragraph or so. When done, I will lie down with strategic pillows and perhaps a heating pad to recover. Within the hour, it starts again. But it beats a wheelchair and 999 other possibilities, and I know that.)

Today's photo challenge is "Word to Live By." After deciding against "Love" or "Peace," I chose "Hope."

I was going to take a photo of the tiny dill flowers that Mike cruelly snaps off almost every day. ("Mike! Let it do what it wants!" "No, it will die!" Weirdly, this also reflects both our views on euthanasia.) But I take flower photos all the time, and this is supposed to be a photo challenge. So instead, I downloaded a flashlight app to my phone and played with some long exposures (and poor penmanship).

I didn't crop the photos or manipulate away the background because I wanted to show "Hope" in context. I stood behind my ergonomic craft chair and drew the letters across the seat where I look forward to sitting again someday soon. In the background are everyday things. Games to play, boxes to unpack, a computer for now-lagging research, the sofa waiting for so many moments to share, and flowers to remind me of all the beauty still to be seen.

Hope

Hope

Hope

04 January 2014 |

Previously: My Town
Next: Yesterday's Birdies


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