You’ve heard of #100HappyDays? Well, I stole the idea and adapted to fit my blogging schedule.
Every day is filled with reasons to be thankful. And yet the majority of my day isn’t spent being thankful. That’s got to change. God sent his son to save me - HUGE reason to always be thankful. And I’ve been freed to live a new life through Christ, released from fear, doubt, shame and self-reliance, equipped with love to serve others and blessed with all kinds of daily tasks and jobs to express my love. And that’s just the big stuff.
This is #100ThankfulWeeks to praise Him. I’m sharing one simple thing I’m thankful for each week. Because there can never be to much thankfulness.
Week 28: Swimming
I know this post is all about swimming. But if I were a runner, then I would be thankful for running. Same thing if I were a cyclist. Or for elliptical, yoga or zumba. Or tennis, soccer, hockey or football. But since I’m a swimmer of sorts, I’m especially thankful for swimming.
There’s an amazing number of things that have to line up in order for swimming to be possible. Especially in the middle of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. One has to find a temperature controlled pool with sufficiently lengthy lanes - at least 25 yards/meters is ideal. And the ideal pool water temperature should be about 80℉ - if it’s much warmer, it’s impossible to maintain any cardio. If one is fortunate, the pool will also sport flags overhead and bottom “T” markers at the walls. And floating lane lines will separate EVERY lane. The truly blessed might even find kickboards, fins, zoomers and hand paddles available for use.
And then of course, the pool’s availability must coincide with one’s own availability. The pool must be close enough to make the drive worth it. It must be properly maintained to avoid frequent closures, contamination and cloudy water. And even when everything else lines up perfectly, one still has to find an open lane. Or a generous swimmer willing to split the lane. And preferably not a wall lane. It’s amazing how often all these things line up for me every week. Three times a week. For a whole hour. That’s pretty remarkable given all the variables - and it’s definitely something to be grateful for.
But beyond the logistics of the pool, swimming is just an incredible form of exercise. It’s one of the few truly low-impact high-cardio activities. Unlike some cardio workouts, swimming involves nearly every muscle in the body. It improves coordination, breathing and abdominal control while teaching calmness and focus. And it’s the only form of exercise where one gets to do fun things like flip-turns, underwater pullouts and dolphin kicks - all in the name of fitness. And I get to enjoy it all, three times a week. Amazing.
There are also those moments in the water, when I’m approaching my flip-turn, too close to the wall for the timed breath, the stream of bubbles from my nose starting to get weak. And as I flip, my feet are planted a little too high on the wall and my push off the wall drives me too deep, even further from the oxygen. And the little warning bell in my head starts chiming, a sense of panic for air starts to build and I wonder…will I make it? And know that I will, that I can, that I just need to calm down. To hold my form. To trust the mechanics. And to know I am not alone, drowning without hope of rescue - in the pool or in life. Then I’m breaking the surface and sucking in air. So thankful for oxygen, so thankful I made it, so thankful I didn’t give up. And so thankful I’m never alone.
Thank you for the luxury of swimming, God. Thank you for graciously aligning everything so I can swim. On the days I feel sluggish and dread the swim, help me to be thankful for the opportunity. When I’m annoyed by having to split a lane in a crowded pool, help me to be grateful for the opportunity to share. And when I’m running out of oxygen, energy and confidence, help me to trust you to equip me with all I need - for swimming and life.
What is your favorite physical activity?