Last night I decided to do some laps in the pool and give my legs (and knees) a break from the impact of running and biking. Despite a fabulous day weather-wise, I figured it would be a good day to swim, soon the outdoor pools will be open and I can enjoy both the weather and the water. Until then it's the window-less pool at the Y.
I love the water. Perhaps you can chalk this up to my zodiac sign (Scorpio) or just growing up in Pittsburgh surrounded my rivers. Under water I feel a sense of peace that I don't feel on the surface. After a few warm up laps I go into a zone, in which I feel completely connected to my internal world. The pool is a safe haven for my introversion, and the repetitive motion of my strokes lulls me into a meditative state. I feel a sense of flow and letting go when I'm doing laps, more so than with other activities.
Perhaps if I swam more frequently I would not derive the same sense of peace from the activity. The tedium of preparing for and de-chlorinating after make it more difficult to incorporate into a daily routine. I also fear that the solitary nature of swimming could overwhelm me. Even when running or biking alone there's an opportunity to connect with others on the trail. Sometimes though, I just have to fall back on the things that give me the most satisfaction and make peace with the solitude. Respect the flow.