Mile Swim

It’s a little emotional scar, of self-doubt. When I was a teenager at summer scout camp in the Sierra Nevada, I failed at the Mile Swim. They had a swimming area at the lake, and you could get your Mile Swim badge by swimming laps back and forth. I couldn’t do it. I got too tired.

I’ve been depressed about my knee, not really able to do much on the bike that is physically challenging, so I decided I would swim a mile this weekend. For a real swimmer, it’s really not that far, but I’d never done it before, and a thing I’ve never done before was the sort of challenge I needed. The Y pool was closed today, but I Googled and found a city pool that has lap swimming and did it. It only took about 45 minutes, and I kept going until they pulled up the lane markers and the kids started jumping in for free swim. In fact, I kept going through the free swimming kids, so I could get in an hour, which seems the minimum these days for my body to feel like it’s right.

2200 meters by the time I was done. Not fast. I’m a pretty pathetic swimmer. But by my tally (the exercise numbers junkie has a log of these things), it’s the fastest and longest swim I’ve ever done. Enough to banish the demons for a day.