Sunday, November 6, 2016

Water, water, everywhere...

I see you, water.
It is not lost on me that in the six months since I have been out of the water I am surrounded by water nearly every day, whether it be looking out my window, running along the river path, or on a treadmill keeping a watchful eye on my teammates. I felt a bit like I am on the outside looking in, and truth be told, I didn't like it. What I had not anticipated when I was injured was just how much of my identity was wrapped up in being a swimmer. It's a persona that I wore (and still wear) proudly, but when you can't do what you love to do, with the people you love to be around, it can be unsettling. We all have identities that we cherish, whether it be our work, our role as a parent or partner, or doing something we love. When one is taken away - temporarily or, in some cases permanently - it takes time to fill that identity with something else. I found that the things I love the most about swimming - the people - are still there, it just takes some time and care for me to make those connections. And, while I miss the smell of chlorine on my skin (call me weird), I haven't taken to spritzing myself with pool water to feel at home. Above all, I have gained perspective and a sense of gratitude by being out of the water, which will make my eventual (post-surgical) return all the sweeter. Until then, dear MIT teammates, I'll still wave from the observation deck and give you the thumbs up, because all is good.