As many of you know, I spent four nights this week in a local hotel while the hardwood floors in my kitchen were being repaired (due to water damage from a new compressor that was incorrectly installed in our fridge). The entire kitchen floor had to be sanded, stained, and sealed with three coats of polyurethane so we opted to escape the dust, the fumes, and the inconvenience of having no kitchen.
The local hotel we stayed in had a small outdoor pool, which I brought my two girls to swim in three afternoons before supper (when we normally would either have had a playdate or go swimming in our community pool). We have spent more time swimming this summer than ever, and I think there’s two reasons for this. First, I don’t feel so self-conscious in a bathing suit anymore; and second, my kids are at an easier age to handle by myself at the pool. One of the fun parts of this pool was that it was convenient for my husband to meet us when he arrived after work. With him there to watch the girls, I actually got the opportunity to swim some laps (short laps because the pool wasn’t that big, but still fun!). It has been a long time since I’ve actually had the opportunity to really swim (when I bring my girls to the pool, I spend the entire time preventing them from drowning rather than swimming). One of the things that surprised me was that it seemed like a lot more work to keep myself afloat than I remember. At first, I wondered if I really wasn’t in as good of shape as I thought. Then, I realized that my leaner body would be much less naturally buoyant than any other time in my adult life. Swimming seemed like more work because it was! That realization made me feel pretty darned good about myself.
I had another similar moment of appreciation when I needed to get out of the pool from the “deep” end (only 4½ feet deep) to help one of my daughters at the edge of the pool. I simply lifted myself out of the pool, easily and with something even approaching grace. I have never been strong enough in my upper body to exit a pool without the use of stairs or a ladder. Even as a kid, getting out of a pool at the edge would be an exercise in humiliation as I struggled to heave my body up and out of the water. This was so easy that my first thought was “Wow! Did I really just do that?!”.
As difficult as this week was, having such concrete proof of how far I have come with my health was wonderful and definitely something to hold on to.