Saturday, March 28, 2020

Contemplating Swimming

I swam today. Technically it's been 10 days since I last swim, which is about as long as I've gone without swimming in years! I was curious so I went back in my Training Peaks account to actually look... I had to go back to August of 2017 before I could find a week where I had zero swimming recorded. Technically that week in August will remain as my most recent zero week bc TP counts Monday>Sunday so my swim today will prevent this week from technically being a zero. Funny that avoiding a zero was the motivation I needed to make myself go to the ocean today. #whateverittakes

I'd been feeling somewhat conflicted about swimming during this Stay At Home order. Legally, we are allowed to swim in the ocean. Exercise has been deemed 'essential' and swimming/surfing (as long as you're not in a group) counts. It's funny though how my brain has processed a lot of this though... While I know I am allowed to swim, is it really truly 'essential'? I mean, let's be honest. It's not. I could live for a month or two without swimming. Swimming for sure falls into the 'want' vs 'need' category and logically I know this. If I didn't swim for a month or two, swimming would feel like crap when I first started back up but I'm 100% aware of how to get it back and I know I could do it in 4-6 weeks and I def considered just going that route right now vs forcing the swimming issue since pools are all closed. Now that I've done it though I'll probably keep it up a few times/week in the ocean until the pools open back up (assuming nothing changes on the legality of it).

Among my concerns...

1) Can I swim without risking potential exposure to the virus? I worked it out in my head that I could. If there aren't many people at the beach and I go by myself and swim alone, I could easily get it done without coming into contact with other people. Ocean swimming is for sure 'safer' than going to the grocery store right now, if the only concern is potential exposure to virus.

2) Where will I park? Our beach parks are all technically closed and we cannot park in the normal parking lots. I solved this one by parking in a neighborhood and trespassing a short distance through what is technically a private beach entrance.

3) Can I swim in the ocean safely by myself? My preference for sure is to swim with at least one other person when I go ocean. Right now this is weird and I struggle to reconcile it in my head. I know some people are still getting together for ocean swims but for several reasons I just don't personally feel right about doing that. Part of it, for me, is about setting the 'right' example by following the guidelines we've been giving about being physically apart from others. It's super easy to justify that meeting up with a small group of friends is safe, and it probably is, but I don't know. I'm just not gong to do it for a while. I don't actually know though when I'll feel better about this?? That part to me is scary for sure. I've asked myself 100x what it will take for me to feel safe being near other people who I am not currently exposed to here at home and I have not come up with any great answers. Maybe these feelings will change over time. Once I have had the vaccine injected into my body though I'm sure I'll feel fine/normal. But GAH I don't want to have fear of being too close to other people until then??? It would REALLY help my head if everyone who was contagious also had symptoms of the virus. If that was the case things would be WAY easier for me but the fact that people can be asymptomatic carriers and be passing it along without knowing it just throws me for a loop. I've considered sending a note to my Dr and asking if I can be part of a clinical trial on a vaccine. That's probably not even a possibility but this is where my head is at.

Anyway. I swam alone. The water was pretty choppy and there was a solid current but I was happy to be out there. I wouldn't say for a minute though that swimming out there by myself was "safer" than swimming with another person. Especially since there are no lifeguards on duty right now. I try not to let my mind wander too much while I'm swimming ocean, especially when I'm alone out there, but I did have some thoughts like, "What is my biggest risk at the current moment?" Man-o-war? Shark? People? Two of the three were seen in the exact area where I was swimming in the last 7 days. Is the risk of being with another person greater than the risk of being in the ocean alone? I'm not here to judge and I don't have the answers, but I guess the fact that I'll go swim again by myself in the next few days is my answer. For now anyway.

I reserve the right to wake up tomorrow and be smarter. (Mahalo to Francesca for that quote!)

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