This will be one of the longest summers without swimming. COVID wildfires. On hot days, all I want is a cold dip and then flow on the surface of the pool.
If you're in the long game for any endurance sport, then you know the game is not just about physical strength and skill but about the mind. To go far, swimmers have to do tremendous energy management. Firstly, you have to be the least resistant to the flow, you have to be water (well almost). That means less splash and more cutting through the surface, and thus more propelling forward with longer strokes. While speed feels thrilling and exciting, you have to put conscious effort to detach yourself from it and pace yourself; focus on breathing. When you pace yourself, you don't break water to come frequently for air, and that's when you go far. This whole taking air from your mouth, holding the air in your lungs, and slowly releasing bubbles from your nose is like reversing gears of your body. Eventually, the world drowns out and all you can hear is your heartbeat, and the movement of the water when you come up for air. It calms you down. Mind and body become one. Interestingly, breathing is one of the first exercises they teach you to help yourself during a panic attack and meditation practice. Control your breathing, control your mind, slow down time.
Breathe in and out.
Sometimes the mind regulates the body, and other times, the body regulates the mind.