The joy of motion

It’s so obvious, the idea that we can get more enjoyment out of working out remembering that, as this month’s Runner’s World puts it, “Athletic movement provides pleasure. Enjoy it.”

We do things like swim and run because they feel good—obvious stuff, right? Still, I realized in the middle of my warmup for a 4,500-meter swim last Friday that it had been a long time since I actually paid attention to how good it felt to swim.

So I tuned in to how it felt to take each stroke: to catch the water with my cupped hand, to propel myself forward with the specific hydrodynamic motion that’s second-nature to me after years of practice, and to follow through until my hand practically grazes my thigh.

I’ve mostly been swimming freestyle with a pull buoy to rest my ankle, and I noticed for the first time that doing so engages your core in new and interesting ways—something I’m sure I would have realized sooner had I made a point to be mentally present during my workouts.

I also noticed something I had been doubting recently: I DO love to swim. Though running is my first love, really tuning in to the joy of motion is motivating me to jump in the pool again this week—and to be more present and aware of what I’m doing once I jump in.

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