Thursday, October 14, 2004

I held my breath and I kicked my feet and I moved my arms around. . .

It's been a crazy week. Drew's better (apparently it was some kind of intestinal parasite, because he hasn't had any problems with his stomach since he started the medicine), but Alec was sick on Tuesday (we haven't had one week since school started that at least one kid wasn't home sick from school). And Adam and I had an stupid little spat on Monday night that colored my whole day on Tuesday. But then I ate way more chocolate chip cookie dough than I should and listened to Liz Phair's "Extraordinary" a few dozen times and felt better. Then I got a halfway decent night's sleep, and spent an hour in the YMCA pool, and felt much better.

I've been swimming at the Y on Mondays and Wednesdays, and I've decided that I'd be a much more zen person if I could just be in the water every day. I learned to swim around the time I learned to walk, and I took swimming lessons throughout my childhood. How many millions of times have I done these same strokes? The muscle memory is deeply engrained.

I have a special fondness for repetitive exercise like lap swimming or walking on a treadmill - your body just falls into the rhythm and your mind can wander at will (kind of like folding laundry, actually). And with swimming you get something like sensory deprivation - the water is body temperature, and the goggles restrict your vision to what's right in front of you, and the water drowns out the noise. Sometimes I compose essays, emails, and long swathes of dialogue while my body surges back and forth across the pool; sometimes I just empty my mind and enter into an almost hypnagogic state - it's very soothing.

In other news, my new column is up at - Eat You Up!


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