Of course, I’ll do more than just swim 3,100 meters to celebrate my birthday today. But my swim will be part of a day of relaxing, reading, playing outside, eating chocolate and otherwise doing all the stuff I loved to do when I was seven years old, and which I still love to do at 31. I certainly wasn’t swimming 3,100 meters then, but I *was* swimming competitively, and loved practices for the sheer pleasure of them—how cool to be able to propel yourself through the water! How exciting to be able to flip upside down, then swim to the other side! At the pool today, I’m going to relax about pace, and simply enjoy everything I loved about the sport back then.
Today, as a birthday gift to me, I’d like to ask you to give yourself permission to ask what it was you loved to do when you were little, and to channel that love as you move through the world. I promise I won’t judge if I find you sprawled out on the floor with a plate of chicken nuggets and a bunch of plastic fire trucks.
In other news: Make sure to check out my Washington City Paper cover story about style skating, an incredible D.C. subculture I was lucky enough to stumble upon last year. I’ve poured my heart and soul into this story for the past several months (I’ve also poured many hours of sleep into it, having gone to three late-night skate parties). It’s long, but if you care about African-American cultural history—or have ever roller-skated—you may enjoy reading it during your lunch break.