12 Dec 2014

365 / 365

If you think that the frequency of posts to this blog has declined, you are not mistaken. There's a reason for that: I have had a bit of trouble keeping my head above the water. In fact, I've really gone in deep. And on purpose.

Last year's experiment with setting an athletic goal has gone rather well, so the temptation was there to have another go this year. Of course, a simple repeat of last year's quest to run 21km nonstop would have been rather dull - although it did get ticked off in 2014 as well.

Early in the year, a new challenge had to be found. I decided to think about it the way I often seek inspiration: I went swimming. And that's where it hit me: Why run around in the distance, when good things lie nearby? Like this pool at the YMCA I had just started using. I could come here more often.

Some mental math followed, and by the time that day's swim was done, an objective for 2014 was found. This year, I would swim one kilometer per day. On average, of course. But it still meant diving in frequenty, and keeping up the distance. A spreadsheet was created, and tracking started.

While I enjoy doing my laps, the new-found objective, and especially the steadily climbing target line on the time graph in my spreadsheet, certainly kept me motivated. Travel often saw me fall behind the required pace, while sunny summer weeks had me catching up quickly at parc Jean-Drapeau. Swimming out a lead over the "day of the year" line became quite satisfying. And this week, with just over 20 days in the year to go, I have reached my goal.

In 86 sessions, I've swam 365 kilometers. That's further than from Montréal to Québec or from Zurich to Milan. I prefer not to calculate how many laps it meant - but they certainly felt good.

Unlike running, which is a high impact sport and has left discernable pains in my knees in weeks of intense practice, I have yet to experience any negative effects of swimming, aside perhaps from a lingering scent of chlorine on my skin. It's relaxing, it allows me to think freely, and it is said to be good for me.

There will probably be a few more swims before the year is out, but I will allow myself a bit of a cookies-and-eggnog break for the holidays. A new year will be here soon, and with it a new challenge. I'll take the plunge!

N.B. Image for illustrative purposes only. Actual author may vary.

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