Swimming tonight was very necessary. For me, it is a way to let my intellect rest and have the deeper parts of my brain run the show. To show just how focused I become when pounding out lengths, I ran into another swimmer (Late Kevin, a guy who always shows up twenty minutes before the end of practice) with my head, full speed, doing freestyle.
Wham! Cranium meets hairy barrel chest.
Now, he *did* join us after we'd already started and we did discuss going straight up and down the lanes rather than the customary circling traffic flow, but I should have seen him coming at me. He was in the wrong, but we both weren't watching where we were going. We tread water for a half second, both sputtered an "Oops" then proceeded with the rest of the set. Doing that made me remember that it is easy to get really focused when you are mind-tired.
I like that swimming is a sport that requires little protective equipment - from the elements and each other. Goggles to protect your eyes from the chemicals, a swim cap to protect your ability to breathe if you have long hair and a swim suit to protect your delicate sensibilities. That's it. The rest is just you (in all your specific gravitiational glory) and the water. Free to float, push against, glide through, wriggle and jiggle in, squirt with your hands, and splash into all you want. There needn't be any personal contact, but even if there is, the environment somehow reduces the social faux pas of being in someone's personal space.
There are few (exercise-related) feelings that are as satisfying as climbing out of a pool feeling body-tired and squeeky-clean.