Walking in Water

Yes, “in water,” not “on water.” I have doggedly tried going to the gym to exercise, and I cannot make myself like it. I spend all winter walking three to five miles a day, in morning meditation, under a blue sky and lacy mesquite trees. A gym just does not replicate that. The inside of the gym feels competitive, emotionally heated and high-pitched in a cheat-death kind of way. I can’t make myself meditate there, not even on the treadmill.

moonWalking in the summer is draining.  Monsoon brings humidity, and I can’t bring myself to walk three miles, sweating before I get to the end of the block, the sun already cooking my skin in 90-degree dawn.

The answer is, as a smart friend pointed out, the pool. The moon slides a sheen across the surface of the pool and I step into the undisturbed water. Some mornings, the Huntsman spider jumps across the surface of the water ahead of me, dimpling the surface but not breaking it. She spends the night hunting mosquitoes and heads back to the filter for safety.

First come the meditation laps. The water is dark and comfortable. Unhook thoughts and drift, on my back. Planes head for Sky Harbor, turning on their lights as they head for the airport 30 miles away. Birds begin to stir in the trees, rattling the palms and chirping. The constellations fade and a chalcedony blue sky takes shape. We are closing in on dawn.

dawnAs the sky begins to glow like a furnace the day will become, I start my serious laps. Leg and arm exercises, using water for resistance. Walking, running in the water. Concentrating on form, pushing thoughts out of my mind. Just the water and muscles flexing through it. The sky turns orange and the top layer of the water begins to warm.

Forty-five minutes later, I pull out of the pool. The breeze dries and chills me, the sun dries and warms me. Opposites, pulling at me before 6 a.m. The day starts.

-Quinn McDonald swims through life.

12 thoughts on “Walking in Water

  1. So happy you are enjoying the swimming and getting your meditation in while doing it! This post is meditative all by itself.

  2. Yes, water is so healing and invigorating, and watching dawn break is a real bonus.

    Years ago I lived where there was a 50 metre heated outdoor pool at the end of my street. It was set against a hillside clad in native bush. In the early morning when it wasn’t busy I would go down and do laps, just plowing up and down in my own lane . . . bliss. When I moved and went to another pool I had to share a lane with others which took away the meditative aspect of the activity and it just became a fitness activity.

    Like you I dislike the gym, it feels to me like a whole lot of people doing exercises, some getting no-where fast on treadmills, trying to make up for their way of life. I know many are there for reasons, such as the climate, for using a gym but I can’t help thinking how we’ve moved such a long way from living the life our bodies were for. Progress?

    • I agree with you–the gym feels more like a lab-rat place than a place of joy in using your body. Love my morning pool, but with a dust storm coming tonight, who knows if I’ll use the pool tomorrow.

  3. Remember this…….one half hour of water running or water walking equates to two hours of on land walking……..you are using more muscles, etc in the water than you do on land…….and the water is so refreshing on a warm day…….or even a cool day. There are some other water excesses that use a lot of muscles and build stamina. I teach water fitness and I see such wonderful results with people……..they become strong and are less likely to fall, etc. Have fun in the water!

  4. There is nothing like swimming for me. it is peacful and meditative. I try and swim every day in our local pool. Just not when camp is in session!

  5. And sometimes she swims upside down! Be holding the beauty above which everyone else is missing as they stare down into their virtual machines…..what a beautiful way to get fit…..change our perspective and we can change everything….we all need a hero…..x

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