The last week of September felt energetic. I lifted weight on Sunday and trained
jiu-jitsu everyday. Recovery had never been better. Friday was open mat where
addicts paired up and went for five-minute rounds. I stayed back, still not
feeling up to one full hour of non-stop rolling. I did it once and had to rest
the next three days. I worked on a few bugs, walked twice in the neighborhood,
read the dictionary, and cooked a pot of jjigae. Toward the end of the day, I
became restless. I went to the downtown Eagle Park and bought 25 swim passes and
jumped into the pool.
One cool thing about swimming was that once acquired, the skills stuck for life.
In the past, however, the first swim after some time off always felt tiring and
sluggish. Then it would improve if I kept at it for a few days.
Not this time. Right away, my body streamlined in water and I freestyle-ed six
laps before taking a break. My upper-body and core strength, greatly improved
over a year of jiu-jitsu, steadied the arms and torso and delivered powerful and
untiring strokes. I was certainly faster than the tall guy next lane although
for long distance, I needed to work on my bi-lateral breathing and rhythm.
Overall, not bad at all after seven years away from the pool. In another 20
minutes, I was out--I didn't want to get sore before Saturday morning's
But I shouldn't need to worry. 1000 yards or so solo aquatic gliding seemed to
calm me down and help sleep. My body felt great the next morning. From now on, I
should try to blend regular swimming in weekly physical activities.