the best thirty four minutes of the day

I swam a long, slow mile today. My body is so different in the pool, stronger, less awkward, almost free. It knows what to do and does it without thought. For the last ten minutes, I was the only person in the pool. The sound of my arms breaking the surface of the water, the only sound. My hands pulling at the water, pushing it past me, stroke after stroke, pulling myself forward, all that I had to do. My shadow on the floor of the pool always just a few inches ahead of me urging me to keep up. It is a quiet euphoria. I have to force myself to quit and get out, get dressed, go back to life.