2,250 yards or 45 laps in 49:48 for 488 calories

Today’s Valentine’s Day swim was really nice as I felt “back in the groove” for the first time in the pool this year. For me, the most challenging part of a long swim is keeping my mind focused on the movements of my body and not wandering too much. See, distance swimming is about efficiency in the water, and since swimming requires a lot of moving parts all in rhythm, someone who’s a newbie at the sport like me has to do a lot of manual coordination. I have swum enough to have some muscle memory in swimming, so if my mind wanders I fall back into old habits. My old habits include an inefficient stroke and too many strokes per length of the pool.

So what does all of this have to do with drumming? Well, when you start out playing drums, you spend an inordinate amount of time just getting your four limbs to move in different patterns. It’s actually a lot like rubbing your tummy and patting your head, except you’re also wiggling the toes on one foot and juggling a hackey sack with the other. This is almost exactly what it feels like to me to be a beginning distance swimmer.

But yesterday was one of those few days when all of those different movements came together. One hand slices into the water, one leg kicks, which rotates my hip downwards as my hand “catches” the water and scoops it towards my body, causing me to glide forward and my other hand to come briefly out of the water and slice back in. When it comes together just right, it’s a zen-like experience—just like playing a difficult (i.e. syncopated for the musicians out there) beat on a drum set.

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