bungee swimming in pool
My daughter using a bungee in our old backyard pool when the city pool was closed due to COVID.

Yesterday while I was fighting anxiety — I had a reservation for lap swimming. I looked forward to going to the pool and swimming a few laps. I knew it would help.

The day was gorgeous with blue skies and white fluffy clouds. Everything looked washed clean after two days of rain.

I got to the pool 15 minutes early and lo and behold! There was only one person swimming instead of the usual five. The coveted middle lane was empty!

I quickly put my gear — fins, pool buoy, kickboard and Hyrdoflask — on the deck in front of the center lane. The reason why the center lane is best is it’s a single lane. They allow two swimmers in the other lanes. I tend to run into the wall or hit the lane line while sharing.

Since starting over with swimming, I’m at a measly 1,000 yards. That used to be my warm-up when I swam with a coach and a team. It’s harder swimming without a coach and people to push you. But I’m working on consistency with showing up. If it’s only 1,000, at least it’s a place where I can build from.

A man entered the one empty lane. I kept my head down and swam, thankful that nobody had to share that day.

“You’re slowing down,” he said to me later.

“I’m almost done!” I said. I was at 950 yards.

“No getting out. Don’t be a slacker,” the man said.

I kept swimming, embarrassed to get out. Finally, I was getting tired at 1,400 yards. The man was at the opposite end of the pool so I quickly got out before he guilted me into more yardage.

When he was back at the wall I explained that I normally swam 1,000 yards but had swam 1,400. He replied with fist raised in the air “YES!”

I came home tired, free from anxiety and had an amazing night’s sleep.

In what areas do you find it helpful to be pushed by other people?

Or do you push yourself all on your own?

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