If you are like me, there is a good chance you have asked yourself this question quite a bit this week. With all the crazy things going on in the world, it seems like every direction you turn there is something to run into, or something runs into you!
This question recently came up with a patient who is an ardent swimmer. After a hiatus, he had really gotten back into swimming over the last few years. No small feat, given he is busy with work and a young family. He comes in monthly and once he started swimming, I noticed two things. The first was how much easier it was to adjust his middle back (the exercise really helped loosen up his "office chair spine"). The second was how he really started to slim down. In any case, his swimming, like a lot of things, got put on hold this spring. He had just recently been able to get back in the pool. This time, however, it was warm enough that he started swimming at an outdoor pool instead of an indoor pool.
In talking further, I found out it was a little different swimming outdoors versus indoors. The outdoor pool was 25 meters versus the 25 yards of the indoor pool. That amounts to about six feet! If you are like me, it wouldn't matter much, as my head is always up and constantly looking for the wall in order to rest. However, if you are an accomplished swimmer and do flip turns or know how to do the back stroke, six feet can be the difference between bonking your head or coming away unscathed. This guy was definitely one of the latter. I asked him how he avoided "Hitting The Wall."
"Lane Lines and Flags"
Turns out, people have already thought about this! He explained that in a lap pool, there are big black lines painted on the bottom of the pool that end as you get close to the wall and corresponding flags suspended over the pool to help you get your bearings as to where you are. What a great idea! Consistent markers to let you know where you are and where the wall is, so you don't bonk your head!
What a great metaphor for life, especially now. I think we have all had the size of our pool changed, the walls moved, our bearings thrown off. Yet, if we look, there are still some markings that help us figure out where we are in space and how close we are to the wall. For my patient, one of his markers was consistent exercise. Here are a few more "markers" I thought of:
- Regular sleep and rise times
- The aforementioned exercise
- Routine prayer and Bible reading
- Scheduled calls with family and friends
- Monthly chiropractic visits (you had to know that was coming!)
- Consistent healthy meals
- Media Fasts (going at least a day or two a week not checking social media or news web-sites)
- Daily Walks
- Regular, healthy brain drains, writing in a journal, reading a novel, playing or listening to music
- Time in a favorite hobby
I am sure there are many other things you could add to this list. My take away from our interaction was, as crazy as things are, I am only adding to the fray when I drift away from my "Lane Lines and Flags," and run a high risk of bonking my head!
Time To Get Back In The Pool
I sure don't know everyone's story, but I know we all have one. I believe God writes it from the beginning and each one is filled with trial, tragedy, and triumph. Sometimes, we swim indoors in a calm, warm 25-yard pool. Other times, we swim outside in a chilly, windy 25-meter pool. But, sooner or later, we have to swim! God bless you as you get back in the pool and find those familiar "Lane Lines and Flags" and avoid bonking the wall as much as possible. We are here for you if you do!
Yours in Health,