Chlorine and the Zen of Swimming

Marci's Pool

There's something about the smell of chlorine that takes me back to being a seven year old kid. Memories of jumping into a pool and playing and swimming for hours until my fingers and toes were completely wrinkly. I love the smell that lingers on my skin after being out of a pool a few hours, a reminder of the fun I've just had.  

I love to swim. Swimming has always been meditative for me and I've always felt a connection with water and have always needed to live near it. Growing up in Wisconsin I lived near a lot of lakes and spent countless hours swimming in them during the summer months. I moved to Florida for a year post college and spent many days in the Atlantic. Now I live in Northern California and even though I don't go in the ocean a lot (brrr!) I love that the vast greatness of blue is always within reach.  

I've been very fortunate to have traveled to Hawaii several times and have experienced the warm, inviting Pacific from their beautiful islands. My absolute favorite thing to do is spend as much time I can in the water.  

How could you NOT want to swim in this beauty?!

How could you NOT want to swim in this beauty?!

As much as I would love to wake up every morning and swim in the warm Pacific ocean, I do love swimming in a chlorinated pool. There's something about the smell of chlorine that is incredibly comforting to me. Perhaps it is all the memories of the countless hours spent at the pool during my childhood and it reminds me of how much I love it. Until I started running I didn't understand how people could run for hours and hours. I thought it would be so boring! (And sometimes I still get bored.) But I could easily go to a pool and swim lap after lap, hour after hour, all day long.

I know there are many people who don't like swimming or are afraid of swimming. Let me tell you, swimming isn't scary, its wonderful. Its all about getting into a rhythm, stroke after stroke. A lot of times I sing a song in my head while I swim and a lot of times my mind goes zen and I enter a deep meditative state and I'm amazed at how far I can go. For me swimming is like doing yoga, but in the water. I get the same feeling after a long swim as I get after a yoga session. Nothing can put me in a better mood.