The Prodigal Swim

24 09 2009

I love my lake.

Now, if you read this blog or know me, you already knew that. For so many years now, I’ve been having a mad passionate love affair with this extraordinary body of water that I am so blessed to live by..

Every Spring, on Mother’s Day, my sister and I take an icy plunge into its waters, sort of like a baptismal entry into summer.

Mothers Day 2009 012

Every Summer, I seek the lake every chance I get… early morning dips after a run, late evening skinny dips by myself, all day excursions with the kids in tow.

August 19 011

Every Fall, I try to extend the swimming season by choosing a warm day to remind myself yet again why I love this water.

Fall swim 008

In fact, after I kick the old bucket, I plan to be cremated and tossed into the waters, becoming a part of the life-cycle of this oasis forevermore.

Last week, it was HOT. Wednesday morning I went for my standard 5 km run along the shore. When I was done, I was dripping sweat. It was less like September warmth, and more like July hotness, and the lure of the lake was irresistable.

I went down to the pebbly beach known by the locals as Turtle Beach (named for a very large rock whose “back” peeks out of the water like a turtle’s shell), stripped down and went for it.

Oh. My. God.

The water was delightful. Cool, not cold. And so clear. I could see to the bottom, even though I swam a good distance out. It swirled around my body, dancing on my skin, and I felt so alive. So thankful. So happy. So grateful.

And then, I noticed that the sun was behind me, and I could see my shadow self on the lake bed 20 feet below me, swimming and water dancing. It evoked in me a kind of childlike wonderment. I couldn’t get out of the water. I swam and swam.

I realized then, that I was having a prodigal swim. One that will rest in my heart through the cold, dark and gray winter months ahead. It will be the life line I will cling to when the moroseness of the season weighs heavy on my heart. It will be what I look forward to as the season begin to tease us with change, and the sun begins again to show us how warm it can truly become.

In The Zone….

15 09 2009

I started running about 2 years ago. I dabbled in it, not really knowing how to push myself. Then I signed up for a 10 week running clinic, and finished off the training with a 10 k run, which I completed in just over an hour. (Slow, I know, but hey, considering I’m in my *cough* late 30’s and just started this whole running bizness, I think it’s pretty freakin’ awesome….)

I love it.

I also hate it.

I hate it when it’s cold and rainy outside and I know for a fact my nose will be running (tee-hee) just as fast as I am….

I hate it when I have a bad case of the PMS-itis, and I know damn well I’d feel way better if I got my ass out that door and ran a few kms.

I hate it the most when it’s cold and rainy AND I have the PMS on top of it….

But, see, the weird thing is, I only hate it until I’m actually doing it. Then, somehow, I begin to love it….

This is what I love: The even beat of my steps, the fresh air, the view of my beloved Kootenay Lake along the road, my breath, my muscles working,  an odd mixture of tunes on my iPod in my ears, the exhilaration of pushing myself a little harder, or the delight of taking it easy.

When I run, I lose my worries of the day, I become oblivious to everything but the here and now. I think it’s a form of meditation for me.

Plus, weird and randomly awesome things happen when I run. The best, by far, is when a moose ran right out in front of me. She didn’t notice me and I didn’t notice her until we were about 30 feet from each other. She jumped, I jumped, she ran up the hill, I stopped dead in my tracks and marveled at the coolness of what just happened.

I know!!! A moose!!!!!! How Canadian is that????

Anyway, I’ve never felt better about my own body, I feel so good in my own skin, and I owe it to my running and my yoga practice.

I’ll leave you with a very cool quote. One of my trainers in the clinic was in the marathon part of a triathlon once, and he was having a rough time and started to walk… When a friend of his, a very competitive athlete, and also Quebecois, ran by him and yelled:

“Eet’s a fuckin’ RACE… RUUUUUUUUUUN!!!!!!!”