I went swimming in Salt Run today, alone. Everyone says its not safe to swim there alone because there's really no one around so if anything happened it's likely no one would see. I don't really worry about it, or at least I try not to, I typically get a little nervous the closer I get to the end, the longer I've been in the water and the furthest I am away from my starting point. I am not so afraid of the people and the boats as I am of what's in the water, that I can't see. If something brushes up against me, even if it's my own hair or bathing suit string, I am terrified momentarily and am constantly thinking I am seeing things in the water. It's such a different feeling to swim in the open water than it is to swim in the pool.
At the pool I stare at the bottom and follow a blue line and at the end of every lap I get to sit up momentarily and assess my surroundings. If I actually knew how to do a flip turn like a real swimmer I wouldn't get that break, but I haven't put forth the effort to do that enough to get good at it, maybe one day but I just don't feel like it's a life skill that I need. I used to think I didn't need to learn how to swim any better than I did, and now I am oh so glad I actually know how to swim laps, and then to translate that into being able to jump off a dock into an open body of water and just go, it's empowering. Other people standing on the dock look at you like you're crazy, like why would anyone jump off a perfectly good dock with no flotation device whatsoever.
But what's the point in all our exercising and our going to the gym to lift waits and run on a treadmill if it doesn't translate into being able to actually use those muscles and cardiovascular abilities to enjoy our world and our life. I think that we have gyms now a days for people to frequent because our day to day lives are too easy, our jobs don't require us to use our bodies like they used to back in the day. Now we exercise inside an air conditioned gym for 30 minutes a day just to stay 'healthy' whereas before we stayed healthy because we were working and using our bodies to build things, to move things, to move ourselves from point A to point B. Now we have machines that build things in factories and cars and airplanes that move things and ourselves. It's almost like we have to go to the gym just to keep from getting out of shape because our daily lives don't require exercise anymore unless it is forced.
As much as I despise swimming (compared to biking or running) I am glad I can confidently do it now and to not be afraid to jump in, if I do get a little spooked sometimes once I'm in.