…more than somebody who walks like they’re permanently on a wobble-board. Somebody who, all of a sudden, sheds the image of mild disability to become like anybody else. I can speak of the lengths I have done, and not the length of naps I’ve had or how hard I’ve found the day.
Nobody knows, in the pool, who I am or what’s wrong with me. I’m just this dark-haired girl in a navy swimsuit who smiles and makes standard comments about the temperature of the water, or how busy it is. As I swim, I don’t think about anything. Not how weary I’ll be, or what other things I have to exert myself to do. I don’t notice the weakness of my legs, or the imbalance of my body. I just keep the number of the length I’m on in my head. I just swim.
It’s the only time that I forget about my troubles, and assert my right to physical fitness. In the water, I am graceful. Not like the way I feel on land, that’s for sure. I can do as much, sometimes more, than other people I know, and that is a rare occurence for me now. Of course it’s a hard slog too, but it’s a precious time to me. During those 30 minutes, my monster sleeps forgotten. It will return, but when I swim, I’m in a blissful, watery state of oblivion. And that feels to me like a very real glimpse of heaven.