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Today I had the pool to myself for over eight laps. After ten laps, the only other swimmer left the pool, left me there standing at the end of the last lane. I looked at the glassy surface of the water, listened to the distant sounds of pool machinery, and imagined diving in, barely breaking the surface, and swimming rapidly to the end of the lane. My imagination runs away at times. Even if I were a good diver I'd not be diving into four feet of water. And that bit about rapidly swimming to the end...never happen. But it's a picture I have in my head. I probably have seen something like it in Olympic meets or maybe just swimming pictures.

After each of my breaks I am renewed and I seem to be more on top of the water, as I should be, my arms stretching far out in front of me and pulling back rythmically. It seems like over time I have become more consistent overall but I notice this difference after each little break. It's a good thing.

I love swimming in an empty pool. I knew it wouldn't last, of course, but I easily accepted the entrance of one of the regulars when I was on my nineteenth lap. She's a water walker, elderly. Others who use the pool have told me that they prefer it when there is someone else in the pool with them in case they have a heart attack or something else happens. I was thinking of this when I was finishing my last lap. I started to worry about this other woman. I wanted there to be others in the pool with her. And just before I finished, indeed there were others. Two more. So it felt good to leave.


Judith Lautner
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January 2012


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