Counting down 

The secret to swimming is to count down not up. Pick the number of laps, pick the goal, and strike them off until you get there. Don’t count up into an empty infinity because wherever you stop it, won’t be enough.

Counting down as I push through the wetness. Eyes on the task I have to achieve. 40, 39, 38…

There’s no one to police me here. No one will know if I stop with five to go. But I will know. Sometimes breaststroke but I prefer to crawl. Always questions, sometimes breakthroughs.

There is a place I will get to between 30 and 15 laps to go. I am swimming without knowing. And the key is being aware of the unawareness without letting go of the count. Was that 20 or 18? Eyes on the task I have to achieve.

Sometimes I get so lost in the task I lose the count. And I carry it with me as I go. 38 or 36? 24 or 22? 14 or 12? If I’ve dropped a lap, no one is watching.

Today I carried a dropped count almost all the way through. Two possibilities in my head as I stroked off the score. 10 or 8? 6 or 4? When I reached nominal zero, heart pumping, legs leaden, lungs burning. No one was there to question the count. But I knew I might have messed up.

So I turn tail and head back up and down for two more. No one is keeping score. But I will know. And it’s important to me to do it right.

Counting down as I push through the wetness. Eyes on the task I have to achieve. Sometimes breaststroke but I prefer to crawl.

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