I pulled the wetsuit on at 4:50AM. Listened to the latest Jordan Peterson podcast on the ride over. Broke fast with hot coffee. No cream. Just black. Made my stomach churn. A pair of cars beat me to the parking lot near Lake Harriet’s north beach. Pulled in right before. Nudge before 530. Fellow swimmers. Training for a tri this weekend. I asked one guy to zip me up. He said sure. They waded one direction in the water. I waded the other. Toes in the water at 5:40AM. First solo go. But I guess we’re never really solo. Sleeping sailboats. Sleepy sun. Planes overhead. Geese.
First buoy. Second buoy. Third buoy.
A wall of geese. I slowed. Breaststroke. Are they going to, like, get the hell out of my way? Or what. 30 yards. 20 yards. 10 yards. 5 yards. A stubborn line of floating geese. Spaced evenly. Just like v sky fly. Finally. They splashed and lifted off, flapping wings. Whew. Clear path to fourth buoy.
55 minutes to round the lake this morning. Fingertips turned numb after two buoys. Stayed numb. Even as the sun wrapped her fingers on the horizon, and lifted her bright smile up up up. Toes numb too. Need those gloves from my sister.
Stopped at my dads. He and Laura were still sleeping. Made coffee anyway. Added half and half. Drove home. Kate put baked apples and plantain spinach quiche in the oven. Let them ride at 200. We both interviewed at this coffeeshop down the street. Tag team. Interview question: how do you describe the taste of coffee? Can you put paste words to the flavor? It’s an interesting question.
Whenever I hear someone say be present or stay in the moment, I’m ears perked with the feeling of damn that sounds right. But then I get right back to worrying planning replaying scrolling simmering in the mind meld matrix of me me me.
Buffered by the wetsuit, the water isn’t as cold.
Some things make other things survivable.
I’m into the idea that There’s Some Truth In Everything. Like, there’s nothing totally false.
I went running last night, after eating meat sauce, hardboiled egg, chicken sausage, salad. Ugh. Running teaches why eating light is better than eating heavy.
You think you dry off and leave the water behind.
And by water I mean cold all encompassing substance that teaches teaches teaches you about your fingers and toes and what pushes you to your limits and how you have to go inside to figure out and make the outside tolerable and fix your stroke and find your glide. But the viscous thick all-encompassing Teacher follows you out of the water. So you’re swimming even when you’re not swimming, even when you’re running. It’s running that teaches diet. It’s job interviews that teach honesty, or the opposite. It’s the dog sitting by the door that teaches selflessness. He wants a walk.
The thing about early morning swimming is that it’s a gun to your head on the sleep question. Getting up at 445 AM means 2 hours less sleep. The choice is a steep slope. I noticed I was running faster up hills last night than down. Like my legs were resisting gravity. The push push push of WOSHHHHH.
You can imagine the t-shirts that say FIND THE WWOOSH. But the WOOSH is here. That’s the anti-capitalist anti-consumerist secret.