frog kicks

i'm learning to open water swim.

years ago, i trained myself to swim a mile in a lap pool. i worked a slow, steady breaststroke while patiently repeating a sentence in my head to help me count.

there's a reef that protects a straight strip of beach that i can see from my parents' window. i have never seen waves there. these are the differences i'm learning: how to navigate based on stationary object triangulation, what color the water looks when i can no longer reach the rock-studded bottom, how to pick out objects to target in the distance that i can make out with a quick peek through a curtain of ocean streaming over my face, how to anticipate the trade wind picking up by hearing the sound it makes as it cuts through the distant trees, how to time my breaths with the small rippling waves so i pull just as the water drops below my chin.

i realized that the sun would set before i completed my last lap, so when i reached the turnaround point, too deep to stand and rest, i flipped onto my back and cupped the dropping sun between my two big toes. it sat on the horizon like an egg yolk, the size of a clementine, smaller than the buoys that marked where the reef became shallow again. i breathed with every swell. one of them eventually washed the light away.

when i returned to my exit point, i swam blindly until my stomach scraped the ground. my knees wobbled when i stood. i ate ravenously when i got home.

05 January 2019 01:45

  Commons License this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. for more details, please see my license information.