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Thread: You think YOU need to get to the pool...

  1. #1
    Very Active Member Red60's Avatar
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    You think YOU need to get to the pool...

    Day before yesterday I had to sneak my swim in before the end of the workday. I got in the water around 2:15, ahead of the high school swim team at 3:00. After warm up I noted the guy in the lane next to me: older (70+) with a nice freestyle stroke and a better backstroke.

    We exchanged pleasantries, mostly about how great it was to be in the water. Then he said something like, "It's good for getting rid of the hate." I found this peculiar. "How's that?" I asked.

    He identified himself as a surgeon. Forty years ago he was sued by a lawyer with whom he'd been social. "A week before he filed the suit," said the doctor, "we had dinner together with our wives at his home." He became consumed with anger and hatred. The case lasted five years, then was dismissed. But the anger stuck around. Ultimately the surgeon, from New York state, found swimming. He worked in five hospitals, each in a different community. He bought pool memberships at five different pools. Every day after work, the man made a beeline for the corresponding pool. Day after day, the swim calmed him, and washed off the hatred. But he had to do it, every single day.

    He worked another 25 years, swimming all the while. Fifteen years after that, he's still swimming. And it's still washing off the anger.

    Imagine: swimming every single day, just to calm you enough to avoid killing your adversary. He's better now, but still wouldn't risk an encounter with the lawyer.

    Wow.

    Been thinking about that story nonstop. Had to file it here.

  2. #2
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: You think YOU need to get to the pool...

    Water is essential for life.

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    Very Active Member pwb's Avatar
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    Re: You think YOU need to get to the pool...

    Quote Originally Posted by Red60 View Post
    Imagine: swimming every single day, just to calm you enough to avoid ... an encounter with the lawyer.
    Makes perfect sense to me

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    Re: You think YOU need to get to the pool...

    In most aquatic environs, it's best to avoid the man in the gray suit.
    (This said by an attorney.)

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    Green Mountain Boy rxleakem's Avatar
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    Re: You think YOU need to get to the pool...

    I often find that job stress melts away as I ferry from one end of the pool to the other ... Excellent therapy.
    ..<))><

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    Re: You think YOU need to get to the pool...

    Quote Originally Posted by rxleakem View Post
    I often find that job stress melts away as I ferry from one end of the pool to the other ... Excellent therapy.
    Same here! Not only job stress, but general life stress!

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    Very Active Member gdanner's Avatar
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    Re: You think YOU need to get to the pool...

    There's nothing quite like being alone with your thoughts while swimming.
    USMS Secretary
    NI LMSC Chair/Webmaster - http://www.niagaramasters.org

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    Re: You think YOU need to get to the pool...

    Um, am i the only one who thinks perhaps a good therapist might have been a better option? I mean swimming's awesome and all but....

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    Very Active Member Celestial's Avatar
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    Re: You think YOU need to get to the pool...

    Swimming is certainly a life saver for me, too. I suffer from melancholy, despite antidepressants. Some times they just don't work. Swimming always does.

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    Very Active Member swimshark's Avatar
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    Re: You think YOU need to get to the pool...

    Quote Originally Posted by gdanner View Post
    There's nothing quite like being alone with your thoughts while swimming.
    I agree. On a bad day, there is nothing like pounding the water as if it were human.

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    Very Active Member ekw's Avatar
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    Re: You think YOU need to get to the pool...

    Quote Originally Posted by sydned View Post
    Um, am i the only one who thinks perhaps a good therapist might have been a better option? I mean swimming's awesome and all but....
    Seconded.

    But I am a big proponent of swim therapy.

  12. #12
    Very Active Member Red60's Avatar
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    Re: You think YOU need to get to the pool...

    Quote Originally Posted by sydned View Post
    Um, am i the only one who thinks perhaps a good therapist might have been a better option? I mean swimming's awesome and all but....
    Sydned: to be sure a little talk therapy might have gone a long way. Although so much of it is so poor that it might not have made much of a difference. Controlling for quality, a little magic wand of cognitive therapy, well-delivered and embraced by the client? Yes, indeed.

    What made the story so powerful to me is precisely its exaggerated quality. Like a fable or a folk tale. Like many of those posting a response to this thread, I have become acutely aware of the role that swimming plays in my ongoing mental health, against a backdrop of depression.

    For some of us, it's swim or crumple. Or spiral off into anxiety, or binge, or god knows what. So I get the good doctor's strategy, even if it seems out of scale somehow.

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    Re: You think YOU need to get to the pool...

    In Death is a Lonely Business by Ray Bradbury, the Constance Rattigan character swims daily. At one point she and the narrator check into a hotel room, and she bribes the employees in order to be allowed to swim at midnight. The narrator wonders what is this obsession with swimming, and she explains that no one can see her cry or hear her scream in the water.

    I have heard more than one swimmer make similar comments -- of both genders. I think there was a book with such a title advertised in the USMS magazine but also don't have that in front of me.

    Personally I have never screamed or cried in the pool, and probably done much less of both than normal outside of the pool, but we all need to recharge or mentally re-order things to be in a better perspective.

    And it is not just swimmers -- I have come across some runners and cyclists verbalizing some very peculiar thoughts when they thought they were all alone on a deserted part of the course. I just say hello (or "on your left") as I pass, and never make a comment because whatever I heard was none of my business!

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    Very Active Member swimlong's Avatar
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    Re: You think YOU need to get to the pool...

    I think it was an autobiography by one of the US 4 x 100 stars - Angel someone? who swam with Dara Torres. Interesting that she (Angel) and Dara both suffered from mental illness/eating disorders. I wonder how much of that was brought on by competetive swimming, and how much swimming helped their conditions.

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    Back is faster than Fly poolraat's Avatar
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    Re: You think YOU need to get to the pool...

    Amanda Beard has just written a book called In the Water They Can't See you Cry. Interesting read about her eating disorder and other problems and how they related to her swimming.
    I have entered the snapdragon stage of my life (Part of me has snapped and the rest of me is draggin ).

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    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: You think YOU need to get to the pool...

    "In the Water They Can't See You Cry" is the autobiography of Amanda Beard,who did suffer from depression and eating disorders.
    As a psychiatrist I recommend regular exercise to practically all my patients.If ones symptoms are severe,exercise isn't enough,but it helps.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

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    Very Active Member Swimosaur's Avatar
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    Re: You think YOU need to get to the pool...

    Quote Originally Posted by slow View Post
    ... no one can see her cry or hear her scream in the water ... I think there was a book with such a title ...
    Amanda Beard: [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Water-They-Cant-See-You/dp/145164437X"]In the Water They Can't See You Cry[/ame]

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    Very Active Member Sojerz's Avatar
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    Re: You think YOU need to get to the pool...

    For Brandeis professor Morrie Schwartz, who's philosophies Mitch Albom shared with readers in Tuesday's with Morrie, the formula was to dance every day. I'm not sure that it matters whether one swims, dances, or finds another source of stress relief and karma. Becuase sensory input is so low while you swim, it seems to provide a great opportunity for thinking things through, calming down, and feeling good.
    Last edited by Sojerz; October 8th, 2012 at 02:39 PM.
    Some guys they just give up living and start dying little by little, piece by piece. Some guys come home from work and wash up and go racin’ in the street. (Bruce Springsteen, 1978)

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    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: You think YOU need to get to the pool...

    Get to the pool and put on your jammer. Came accross this video [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Twi8vgRX7Y"]Speedo Fastskin3 Jammer Fitting Guide Presented by ProSwimwear - YouTube[/nomedia]
    Keep it simple George Park
    Swimsuit Sale http://www.swimdownhill.com/index.html

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    Very Active Member ekw's Avatar
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    Re: You think YOU need to get to the pool...

    I have bipolar disorder, though it's only relatively recently been correctly diagnosed as such after years of depression diagnoses. Exercise really is an effective tool in the toolbox of coping skills, though when I'm depressed or slipping into a depression it's so hard to get the energy to do it. That's one of the most insidious things about depression - your brain is lying to you.

    I've also read that you have to be careful with it when verging on hypomania or mania because it can be energizing and help push you over the edge. I haven't experienced this so far and think that the benefits far outweigh the risks, if only because being tired helps regulate my sleep. Any tendencies towards grandiosity I might develop in the pool are quite thoroughly quashed by the clock.

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