Friday, December 26, 2008

Fish again.

I was a YMCA kid. Memories of my childhood include Saturday mornings at the Y. Entering the lobby greeted by the smell of chlorine, squeak of basketballs and shouts of children. In the winter I swam on the swim team. This meant that after school and before dinner 3 nights a week I was in the water. Later playing outside in the snow, hoping my wet hair would freeze before I had to go home. Later being in trouble for not drying said hair, "What is wrong with you child you will die from pneumonia!"

My dear friend Denise re-introduced me to the YMCA when inviting me to exercise with her on a guest pass. The St. Louis South City YMCA later became the place where I found and learned balance for my life. I am certain that I would not have been able to complete my cardiology fellowship without that pool. With each stroke I was able to beat out frustration and under water the silence helped me to hear my voice of determination.

I guess it is because of the emotion and reflection experienced between the flip turns that my memories of certain swims are so vivid. After my wrist surgery- cleared to remove the hard brace and find the strength of my wrist. After hip surgery- negotiating the deck on crutches then making my way down the stairs to weightlessness. Walking then running in the water.

My decision to join faculty at MUSC; this interesting plan to take my first job, move across country and have a baby in six months- was not made without consideration of the proximity of my new office to the Wellness Center pool. All of the way into my third trimester I waddled into that water. Interesting observations of normal physiologic changes of pregnancy. Hmmmm..... a bit more buoyant around the middle, definitely decreased respiratory capacity, oh my goodness whose feet are those?!!?

So today I was again, back in the water. Returning the the Wellness center, re-entering the world of fit hard bodied happy people. Note to self bring different suit, one left in locker is a bit too stretchy and, well shabby. Swimming without Zach was strange. The whole time I was thinking of him, about how this swim required planning and felt like stealing time. It was good though, I felt like each stroke really counted. An opportunity to take inventory, clear the cob webs from the mind and get moving again.

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