Montag, 10. September 2007

Waterless Swimming

It is waterless swimming that lets me open the flood gates to the weeks routine.

The Monday formula is known. My prefabricated one piece is donned, in and out times are fixed, and the elevated block with an etched number 5 directs me to my lane. The leap off the block dictates the momentum of the day. Tuesday is a focused, streamlined piercing dive. Wednesday is a spring and jack knife, slicing the week. Thursday is a cannon ball, teasing Friday. And Friday is an experimental back flip.

Once immersed, the water recognizes my flutter. The familiarity of the average temperatures and the 16 stroke distance to the other end propels me into a consistent rhythm. I can then tackle the unexpected cold pocket, choppy waters, or chlorine boost.

The course is a known blueprint.

Saturday is the day for breaking all convention and peeling away my routine. I go waterless swimming wearing polka dots and stripes.

My shower mat remains imprint free, my one piece takes the shape of the towel rack, and my goggles hibernate.

Expecting nothing and discovering everything, I cautiously step down the ladder and walk into the deep end. New people and ideas surface, and I begin to drain away my assumptions. Looking up, I get lost in the crystalized calcium deposits. I take off running to the shallow end and loose my step on the unexpected sharp grade; I chuckle at the pain of a skinned knee. I then dodge across a couple of lanes and explore a knew route. Time stops as I sit Indian style on the steps and soak up the beauty. I am refreshed.

It is waterless swimming that lets me open the flood gates to the weeks routine.

(Inspired by a random exhibition I stumbled upon in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin - an early 1900 disintegrating swim hall brought to life with waterless swimmers.)