Quick note: I didn’t learn how to hold my breath underwater until my late teens. You can blame my lack of adequate swimming lessons, absence of siblings, never having a pool, or all of the above.
I decided to go for an evening swim by myself to relieve some stress, but figured just wading around in the pool was pointless. Instead, I thought I’d try my hand at getting some exercise by swimming underwater from one end of the pool to the other. For about 20 minutes I kept taking big breaths, going under, then blowing out; all while flapping my feet and moving my arms around and around as hard/fast as I could. Each and every time though I had to come up for air only about 4 feet from the edge.
After a while I was tired of this routine so I decided to just go under with a normal breath, hold it, and let my feet slowly do the work. Assuming I’d only reach the middle of the pool before needing air, I came up and was actually at the same place I’d surfaced all the other times when I tried. I was fairly confused, thinking maybe I had more push-off then I initially realized, then attempted the weak swim option again. Lo and behold, three times in a row I made it 9/10 the length of the pool.
As I was drying off with my towel I started to think about what had just happened. Was this some sort of weird symbolism? Was there a moral to my little adventure? I think so. I’d like to believe it means: when looking to achieve a task (within reason), don’t assume you have to use every ounce of energy to accomplish it. Consider all your options, and start with the most realistic. Maybe you’ll surprise yourself.
Additional lesson: swimming at sunset is a great stress reliever.