Weightlessness and Water

I had been going to the pool to swim at least three mornings a week before the pandemic.

When I became pregnant with my second child, I envisioned going to pool three, four, perhaps five times a week as my body changed and the pool would gradually replace my other workouts. I miss the routine. Greeting the lifeguard, pulling on my cap, fitting my goggles to my face, and sliding into the pool under a blue-gray morning sky. I miss the feeling of weightlessness–physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The first press of my body from the wall, sliding, gliding, under water until my breath can not hold any longer, just to feel those few moments of total peace, quiet, nothing but the water holding my body, cradling it softly as my mind drifts before my kicks bring me back to life and I emerge in a small wave for the first breath. The weightlessness as my body slides through the water and the rhythm of my breath– breathing out, turning to breathe in, relaxing my jaw to exhale, turning again to breathe in. This rhythm carries me lap after lap after lap. My arms and hands pull me through the water, and I feel the gentle resistance as I move myself yard after yard, pull after pull. My legs feel strong and relaxed as they kick rhythmically and remind me that this is all automatic at this point. I miss the meditative practice of breathing, kicking, pulling, and counting laps. I miss the feeling of gratitude for for the gentleness of the water holding my body so softly, the beauty of the now sunny blue sky above me as I lie back at the end of my swim, just floating there on the top of the water, letting the relaxation soak into my pores, closing my eyes for a moment to feel, to soak in, to remember, the weightlessness.

This is one thing I have lost during the pandemic. I have drawn new weight onto my body, mostly the troubling weight of anxiety and worry, but also the beautiful weight of my growing child. I long for the moment when I can push off the wall, glide through the water, entirely at peace, and weightless.

Alyssa S.

Location: Fullerton, CA

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