Monday, March 12, 2012

Swimming Through It

Swimming has turned into my sanity saver.
In more ways than one.
Here is my random semi-poetic, partial prose, (in no particular order) musings on it all.

The basics:
Its really nice to just get out of the house, alone, on a regular basis.
It gives me a chance to reset.
It gives me the feeling of belonging --- that I actually have somewhere to go in this town. A place that is mine.
It gives me a chance to start recognizing faces here, even if I don't actually interact with them too much.
It gives me a routine, in a stage of life that can be so void of routine.
It gives me a reason to change my clothes, other than just the idea that I should.

Going deeper:
Today I realized,
that when I'm moving in the water I feel pretty.
Honestly that's kinda laughable, because there I am make-up-less, with bedhead tucked into a swim cap. But its true. I feel really feminine in the water.
I get to move the way I want to move.
With Fluidity.
With more style than I would on land.
I get to twist.
I get to stretch.
I get to reach.
I am suspended.

And in that moment, the only thing I have to do is move.
Nothing else.
I don't have to plan.
I don't have to be in charge. Of anything.
I don't have to have any answers.

I love to move slowly. 
I am in no hurry.

I choose to breathe as often as I like.
I don't hold it.
Take and release
When I am in need.

I don't put my head down,
not in the water.
Eyes up.
But ears in.
Back and forth,
My lips slide through the water
To reach the air again.

I don't try and swim to get it right.
I swim to feel.
I don't know what I look like.
If others say "Did she start this for the first time yesterday?"
It doesn't matter,
I've given myself the chance to swim for me
And not 
for anything else.

And in the physical
I find my heart.
As it beats
It grows secure.

And I feel,
If only for the moment,
totally fine.

And for someone who is freaking out all the time, feeling like I can't make the "right choice" and feeling like I don't know anything, having 30 minutes a day of that kind of rest is worth more than I can say. Honestly, without the soliloquy, it really is invaluable to me in the state that I am in. 

Blake, as well, has noticed that when I am not able to get the time to do this, my emotions are way more out of control. I think with the combination of hormones I am pumping out to nurture this life, mixed in with the reservations I have about bringing this life out into the world, I actually need the balancing effects of physical activity and their stress reducing endorphins. 
This comes as a really big surprise to me, because I never was one to really value physical activity.
For most my adolecent and young adult life I couldn't care less about it. In between my pregnancies I learned it was worthwhile for fitness. But to be honest, it didn't really have a calming effect on me. At times it was exhilarating or refreshing. But often times working out was emotionally difficult for me, as I worked on both my postpartum figure, and my post c-section heart. There were many times I would absolutely dread getting myself to the pool because of the emotional difficulty. So I still didn't fully grasp that there were emotional benefits to excise. In hindsight I'm sure there was a LOT of emotional healing I encountured through my physical excursion, regardless of the pain I felt, since there was so much that I needed to work through.
But now, in the place I am in, I am just realizing how my heart is in need of care from many angles. I've always been one to put value on the emotional and spiritual aspects of my life, but now I'm starting to see that God was really intricate in the way he interlaced it all together. And I really do think He intended us to get a balancing effect emotionally from using our bodies. Science backs this up.

So with the level of stress and uncertainty I am experiencing in my emotions, and with the strain I feel from that on my faith, the physical is currently taking center stage by keeping me from falling apart.

And so in this interlaced way, the realization and actualization of one piece of me is bringing confidence to another.  To know that God would leave that kind of safety net out there for me (or anyone for that matter) when without it I would be lost, makes me know He is trustworthy. In the times where my emotions will not allow my heart to trust, my body has begun seeking His face.
And He made it all possible.

This whole idea sounds really strange to my ears, honestly. 
But that's where I am.
He's surprising.
He really is.


(Update 11/16/12: After staying active through my pregnancy, employing other helpful things (from my healthy pregnancy tips), and with HIS goodness, I did go on to have a safe and healthy VBAC. Because of my fitness level and my healthy diet, I also was able to keep my weight gain down to 32 lbs this time, as opposed to the 41 lbs I gained in my first pregnancy. 


  1. This is beautiful, Lydia. Your ability to articulate yourself is wonderful. I love exercise too, especially while pregnant. Another upside is that it should be easier to deal with post partem emotions and body image and all, since you have that routine in your life!

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