The Joy of Sitting Down
I began noticing how much I enjoyed sitting down roughly 10 years ago, or thereabouts. I am now 67. And yes, I am aware that exercising on a regular basis is as important as it gets if you want to increase your chances of living a long life. I’d very much like a long life. First of all, there are so many books I want to read.
A shade over a month ago I returned to swimming at a local YMCA . I swim a notch over a third of a mile. Did so five days last week, which makes me feel good and assures me I’m not lethargic. Yet, it is this return to regular exercise that brings me to the doorstep of the joy of sitting down.
They have chairs and benches at the poolside. That’s a good sign. Tells me the Y is up on how wonderful sitting down is too. I put my towel and mask and flip flops on a bench, and into the pool I go, with my swimming goggles. I try and dunk myself quickly so I can get that first horrible! moment of cold shock over with. I know they say the water is warmed there and no doubt this is true. It just takes the water a few seconds to convince my body it’s warm.
I don’t play when I swim. I do half a lap, breaststroke, my version, and then the other half, a regular crawl, the regular crawl version. Twelve laps is one third of a mile and I’ve been staying at 13. Once, after a two day layoff, I pushed to 20 laps. That was quite the emotional lift for me.
To sitting. At the end of each swim, I climb out of the pool, walk over to the bench where the towel, mask and flip-flops are waiting. I eye the bench. It looks beautiful. And then, I get to experience a moment built out of heaven. I, yours truly, get to sit down on that bench. Just, sit down.
I’m telling you, it’s damn near nirvana. I am able to completely relax, and breathe. The calming in each moment, the ever-quieting pace of my breathing… All of me feels wonderful, and safe. It’s a kind of reassurance. I am fully breathing, my body still works, and I am doing the best I can. Granted, my best prefers to live its life in flux. Nevertheless, I get to experience this sense of wonder and joy, just because I sat down.