1. No sweat! I like to hike, walk, bike, and so forth, but I don’t like to sweat. Ever. I avoid it whenever I can. When I swim, I feel cool and fresh the whole time. I’m going to invent a bike bubble that allows you to pedal down the street surrounded by cold water up to your waist.
2. Feel young and slender! I go to the Y mid-morning when the building is frequented by young moms and retirees. 95% of the young moms are on the elliptical machines or in the aerobics classes, which means that most days I can boast of having the sexiest body in the swimming pool!
3. Hope for the future! There are some days when the best body in the pool award goes to a swimmer in his or her seventies or eighties. While this is humbling, it proves to me that swimming is something I can keep doing for the rest of my life.
4. Full body workout! I love that I swim and then I’m done. Swimming laps works my arms, legs, heart, and lungs.
5. Safer snorkeling! On a planet that’s 70% water, swimming is a life saving skill and it doesn’t hurt to be good at it. After I’d been swimming for six months, my husband and I had the opportunity to snorkel in the ocean off the coast of Mexico. We were fighting waves and currents as we swam and I was so proud of being able to handle myself well in that water.
I realize that not everyone likes to swim. A good friend of mine came swimming with me once, but she didn’t like it. She likes to sweat. She likes to work each part of her body separately and feel the burn. She’s crazy.
If you don’t like your current exercise, try something new and find something you enjoy. Roller skating, biking, hiking, cross country skiing, zumba, kick boxing, square dancing…find a way to move your body and love it!
“What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?
You made them rulers over the works of your hands; the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (excerpts from Psalm 8)