This weekend I swam 20,000 yards - almost 12 miles – in a pool. Why on earth would I do that? Many long distance swimmers who I respect have told me this is an integral part of training and I have found that on several of my swims as I get towards the end, my endurance has not been as strong as I had hoped. My will has gotten me through past my swims, but for the next round, I would like to have something more on which to rely.
So, with carefully noted training program in hand, and after a few weeks of strength work, I embarked on my most ambitious training session to date. Or as my friend the “Polar Bear” might say, “time to harden the fun up and drink some wet cement.” I abide (although I am not a dude).
I won’t lie. The yardage was tedious. However, there was also an immense satisfaction of completing my two longest training days so far. There’s a quiet in my mind. Physically present, but not at all mentally present. I like this drifting.
Some scientific studies claim that increasing physical activities can increase brain function. Clearly they are not studying those swimming 20,000 yards in a weekend, in a pool. On the positive side, I can’t remember the last time I was naturally this mellow. And hungry.
Needless to say the last few days with continued training have been glorious: the mendacity of daily life has become especially calming. I feel like a stunned mullet and have been busted for having a case of the stares more than once. Luckily for many, I have also become less talkative.
This was part of the journey I was not expecting. Pain and exhaustion, yes (thank you sir, may I have another!). But the out of body experience of watching the world go by and trying my very best to feign presence has been quite the surprise.