I’ve found the “thing”. You know. THE “THING”. The “thing” that everyone has, only some of us don’t know it until, like a fairy’s magical wand, it whams us in the head and leaves us seeing sparkles.
I have a lot of friends whose “thing” is running. A LOT. Running is not my “thing”. I have a friend whose “thing” is pole gymnastics. I can’t help but admire her, but that’s not my “thing” either. I’ve got rock climbing “thing” friends and boot camp/PX 90 “thing” friends and paintball “thing” friends. None of these are my “thing” either.
My “thing” is swimming.
I realize I should have thought of this before, but the fairy and her stupid wand wasn’t around yet. Growing up, my family had a cottage that we would visit every Sunday of the season for… as long as I can remember. I have pictures of me as an infant crawling around in the sand. The lake was shallow, perfect for beginning swimmers, and I can’t remember ever not swimming during a visit. My parents would often have to drag me out to go home. Getting older, the cottage was a place for us to exert our independence, and my cousins and I would often have sleepovers there sans adults. But the water was always the real lure. I took swimming lessons when I was younger. Later, I took my cousins to the beach for picnics. If you looked out my bedroom window in my house growing up, you could see a lake. Water was all around me. My parents moved in my first year of university to a house on waterfront property and it seemed like a perfectly normal transition. Plus, I’ve always been a strong swimmer. That’s something I’m grateful for all the time. I have no fear of water because I know my way through, under, and around it; freakish buoyancy definitely helps.
|Aww, look at how cute I was. Let go, cousin, because swimming!.|
So today in the pool, when I realized that nothing ached or pulled, and that the clicking of my bones was in no way followed by pain, that’s when the fairy and her magic sparkles whammed me. I love swimming. Swimming is my “thing”. I could swim until I was jelly legged and pruny fingered; I have before, and I will again. I could swim laps, tread water, do some crazy syncro stunts if I felt like it, all without the need to stop because I hurt or was tired from holding myself upright. No! The water does that for me! Like little tiny hands stretching out from the H20 atoms saying, “Hey, we want to help you help yourself”, because they’re super chill like that.
Someone once said the human body wasn’t truly designed for swimming – no one thinks a hairy, gangly ape with ridiculously weird digits is going to be a good swimmer. But I am. I know lots of others that are. I’ll be damned if some dumb biologist is going to tell me that my “thing” wasn’t really something I was meant to do, because I was. I was meant to swim.