8Things: Power Source – Swimming

Sink or Swim by Jennifer Christina Wildermuth
"Sink or Swim" (isn't this BEAUTIFUL?!) by Jennifer Christina Wildermuth

Here’s another bit of homework:

There are places in your life where you feel powerful. There are things you do that make you feel strong. There are people whose presence strengthens your own. When chaos enters your world, when the winds of change blow forcefully, these places, practices and people do not go away. It just gets a more difficult to remember them. Make your list now. It will become a powerful resource when you feel your footing start to slip.

Where do you feel grounded? What makes you feel strong? Who most supports you when you stand in your own power? What are *8Things that make you feel powerful?

This is a little difficult because I’m not sure I *can* name 8 “places in my life where I feel powerful”. But I will list the one thing I know for sure:

When things got stressful this summer, I didn’t start hiding in bed, I didn’t start eating more- I swam more. I started swimming three miles a day, and then four miles a day. I have been swimming for 18 years now, half my life.

Swimming is a part of who I am. It is as essential as eating or breathing or sleeping or drinking. In fact, if I had a choice between eating or swimming, I’d swim (I know I need to eat for survival, but I’d hold off for as long as I could).

It’s only when I skip a day of swimming that I realize how much power the water has over me. It’s the only place I can completely stretch my body and *move* without fighting gravity, where not having physical balance is not an issue. When I’m in the water, I’m FREE. I’m powerful. I’m strong. I’m fast. I’m capable. I’m “better than”, instead of “not good enough”. I kick ass in the pool, and I LOVE it. I love there’s a place I can go where I am limitless and I can fly.

In the water I am either floating, flying, or fighting. Most of the time I am somewhere in between floating and flying. It’s blissful. It’s the only place I truly feel like myself.

I get into this mindspace where I am aware of every second that goes by, but I become completely unaware of time passing at all. I can’t describe it.

I become completely in tune with what’s going on outside- the weather, the sunshine, the clouds, the wind, the tides (my house backs up to the bay so my pool is a few feet away from the water), the birds, the Gulf of Mexico (we’re about two blocks from the beach), the trees- everything. It’s like I become an antenna of sorts, and I pick up all these different energies in the hour or so I am swimming. Colors become more enhanced. Everything gets sharper and more intense.

I also realize that I COMPLETELY depend on the water to help me “read” what’s going on in my body. I can feel every ache and pain, every joint and muscle, but I also feel what’s good. I feel all my blood pulsing and beating through my body, my heart thumping away, my tendons and muscles stretch and release. I can feel my brain working without all the foggy sleepiness that seems to haunt me all the time. I can tell when I’m hungry or if my body truly needs something, like sleep or rest or quiet.

When I’m swimming, I can feel things more *honestly*. It’s like I’m using all my energy to keep moving physically, so my reactions to different things that pop into my head are genuine and I rely on those reactions to guide me when I’m *not* in the pool.

Power Stories
Power Stories

I have to say that this “Power Stories” class is *really* making me think. Small things are shifting inside.

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