Wish Me No Excuses

I slip into the pool and begin. One stroke, two strokes, three strokes, twenty. Duck my head and kick off the wall. One lap, two laps, three laps, twenty-five. It’s is the most exercise I’ve had in weeks, and I’m pleasantly surprised to find that it doesn’t feel that difficult. No, not difficult it all; it feels familiar, like the conversation you have with a friend you haven’t seen in years but it seems like you’ve never been apart. Better still, it feels good to expand my lungs this way, to tax my muscles.

Make no mistake. I’m not exactly breaking speed records out here. I’m sure my technique is no raving hell. It doesn’t matter. I’m moving, when for months the most exercise I’ve had is speed-walking around the grocery store or an occasional, irregular yoga class. I’ve been sitting far too much, moving far too little and feeling the worse for it: stiff, brittle, my lower back like a sack of cement, my shoulders and hips complaining on a regular basis.

All it takes is starting, right? What I learned from Tony Robbins all those years ago in a fit of toddler-bound desperation? That one step, a single action, is all takes to start something, to move out of inertia and into momentum. A single step. A journey of 1000 miles, or maybe just 1000 strokes. Fifty laps of the community pool. Twenty-five strokes yesterday. Thirty today, in the rain no less. Thirty-five tomorrow provided there’s no lightning or brimstone. By Monday: fifty. Wish me luck. On second thought, no. Wish me no excuses.

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