I have not been swimming for over a week because I injured my shoulder while trying to win a battle with the water. Although the stationary bike has been interesting and used muscles that were surprised by the sudden call to arms, I've missed my swimming.
When I checked into the Austin Hilton, I notice some sign saying "heated pool". I also noticed that it was open from 5:30AM. This morning, some remnant jet lag from some trip woke me up at 5AM. It looked chilly, dark and wet outside, but the idea of swimming in a heated pool in this weather appealed to me in an avantouinti sort of way. (Marko turned me on to avantouinti and now I'm a convert.)
As I sat in the whirlpool warming up and doing some stretching, Matt's voice and the Total Immersion images from the DVD that Seth sent me filled my mind. I rigged up my goggles with the Dolphin mp3 player that Pete suggested on my music in the water post. (I tried ordering the Kiefer SwiMP3, but wasn't able to get it. I just re-ordered it from someone on eBay after Austin told me on Twitter that he got one there.)
Anyway, it all came together for me today. While The Orb from Jeff's playlist set the tone with the sounds of pink fluffy clouds, I was able to make peace with the water. The flip turn that I had been struggling with seemed to come naturally - Matt's tips coming to mind as I made each turn. The "swim like a fish" images from Total Immersion helped me pace myself and swim without feeling out of breath. It felt very peaceful and it felt like I had made peace with the water.
I finished up with with a short session of my attempt at the Maha Mudra and Pranayama that Jay is teaching me. I had the steam room in the deserted locker-room all to myself.
Clearly, I have much to learn and my swimming stroke is still crap, but I felt like I had hit a milestone of sorts. As I sat down to write this post, I realized how much this journey is result of the amazing support of my friends starting with Shawn's advice to try a vegan diet. Thanks everyone.