Swimming is one of the oldest traditions in the world, practiced throughout history as a physical activity, as a meditative exercise, and even as a spiritual ritual. And swimming remains popular today not only as a sport, but as a practical way of bringing focus, energy and optimism into our lives.
"The water is
your friend...you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as
the water, and it will help you move.” (Aleksander Popov)
Swimming is firstly a great outlet for your physical energy. It is a low-impact exercise that works virtually every muscle in the body while building strength and stamina – ideal for those seeking to push their limits as well as those seeking a more moderate pace. Swimming also connects you to the deeper parts of your body, teaching you to pay attention to your heartbeat, your lung capacity and your maximum range of motion.
“If you want to learn
how to swim, jump in the water. On dry land, no frame of mind is ever going to
help you.” (Bruce Lee)
Swimming can also be a valuable time of personal reflection. Especially early in the morning or late at night, the pool can be a sanctuary in which to build your powers of focus and concentration. Even twenty minutes of swimming at a time can help get your body into a rhythm and allow your mind to follow in meditative peace and contemplation.
“Live in the
sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Swimming outdoors connects you with the natural world and reminds you of your place within it. Standing alone by a lake or ocean is a humbling experience – one that will reinvigorate your love of the elements and encourage you to live fully and become a part of the world you live in.
“Don't wait for your
ship to come in - swim out to it.” (Anonymous)
Finally, swimming is a great metaphor for our life journey and the pursuit of our dreams. Whether you’re seeking a new personal best in the pool or if your goal is something greater than that, you have control over your life’s direction – by taking it one stroke at a time. Breathe deeply, and keep going.