Swimming a mile at the pool every morning at 5:00 has come to be such a part of my work day, that I rarely alter my routine. Although getting up at 4:00, gathering up my swim gear, and work clothes, and driving to the gym is a discipline, the energy I derive from the workout is worth the preparation.
As enter the Y pool area, I notice the bright lights, and the smell of chlorine. I walk to my swim lane, putting on my swim gloves, swim fins, swim cap, goggles, and ear plugs. Making the plunge, I glide weightless through my first lap, as I slice a trail through the placid water. With a freestyle stroke, I kick with my swim fins, like a rudder. My thoughts are rushing, like waves on a windy day. By the second lap, the restless activity of my mind slows down. As I steady my pace, I count, breathe, and meditate. My mind wanders. I bring it back to counting laps. I release tension with each arm stroke. Within an hour, I paddle my way to peace in the pool.
As I come out of the pool, I take off my swim gear, gazing at others who have come to the pool, and walk to the shower. After a hot shower, I chat with my Y buddies briefly as I dress, and head out to my car, with damp hair, and a renewed body and mind.