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 asa sport, but as a practical way of bringing focus, energy and optimism into ourlives.

 “The water isyour friend…you don’t have to fight with water, just share the same spirit asthe 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 whilebuilding strength and stamina – ideal for those seeking to push their limits aswell as those seeking a more moderate pace. Swimming also connects you to thedeeper 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 learnhow to swim, jump in the water. On dry land, no frame of mind is ever going tohelp 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 sanctuaryin which to build your powers of focus and concentration. Even twenty minutesof swimming at a time can help get your body into a rhythm and allow your mindto follow in meditative peace and contemplation.

 “Live in thesunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Swimming outdoors connects you with the natural world andreminds you of your place within it. Standing alone by a lake or ocean is ahumbling experience – one that will reinvigorate your love of the elements andencourage you to live fully and become a part of the world you live in.

 “Don’t wait for yourship to come in – swim out to it.” (Anonymous)

Finally, swimming is a great metaphor for our life journeyand the pursuit of our dreams. Whether you’re seeking a new personal best inthe pool or if your goal is something greater than that, you have control overyour life’s direction – by taking it one stroke at a time. Breathe deeply, andkeep going.