I’ve got a lot to write today at work. I’m at the aquatic center now. My nose drips and my eyes burn after my first chlorinated swim in a couple weeks. I’ve got 15 minutes to kill before I pull through the pickup line to gather a car full of wet-haired girls and take them to school from the pool.
I figured, I haven’t blogged for a couple weeks. I’ll warm up my writing muscles for the three drafts I need to write today.
Just like in my swim warm-up, I feel choppy. Gangly. I can’t get the rhythm right. My pacing is off. The words come in spurts and then dry up, just like one lap feels smooth and fast, and then the next one I can’t get any piece of the stroke right.
The kids in the pool inspire me. They swim for hours. My daughter likes to warm up for 30 minutes before a race. Thirty minutes! Of warmup! That’s my whole workout!
But the thing is, by the time it’s race time, her body is loose. She’s practiced breath, stroke, pace. For 30 minutes, she assembles the pieces. Each lap, she weaves in an element: kick, reach, catch, turn, breathe. She develops cadence. When she gets on the block for the race, she has worked through the chop, and the jangle, and the flailing.
I feel a little less flaily than when I started this post. The words flow in a tiny trickle rather than a drip drip drip. Thirty minutes might have done me better, but 14 will have to do for now.
Coffee will also help.