I had a minor surgery back in September and the recovery prevented me from exercising for a few weeks.  Let’s first talk about the surgery.  No, it wasn’t a major surgery, but I still had to be sedated and I still had to “recover.”  On a routine exam with my OBGYN, they found precancerous cells on my cervix, CIN II and CIN III for those that know anything about this.  So, I needed a procedure called a LEEP to remove these cells.  It was the 2nd such procedure I had in the last 10 years and it makes you feel…vulnerable and worried about your own mortality.  The emotional stress of something like this is just as bad as the physical stress of it, but I’m so grateful for modern medicine and the technology that helps to prevent cervical cancer.  Ladies, get yourselves checked out because it’s better safe than sorry.  So, needless to say, I kind of had an “off” month of not quite feeling life myself because I didn’t get to do one of the main things that I love:  swimming.

So finally this week I was able to get back into the pool after my little “break” from exercising.  Swimming is like my athletic soul mate in so many ways, and it was such a relief to get back to it.  Swimming got me through a very bad first marriage, through being a single mother for years, and on a daily basis just helps me to clear my head and escape from the burdens and responsibilities of life.  It is the one place that I feel alone in a good way and can think or not think about anything and everything.  Every moment underwater is a tiny bit of fear mixed with escape and isolation, followed by that deep breath, reminding me that I’m still alive!  There is something so therapeutic about it – submerged and alone and every moment you reach the water’s surface, it’s like you are choosing to be alive.   Don’t get me wrong or misunderstand – it’s not like I would consider not living, but it’s that element of choice that makes swimming so powerful.  Sink or swim.  In the pool and in life, I have always chosen to swim.

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