Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Swimming Pools

We took the kids swimming last week as the current heat wave sweeping across Europe is driving us all out of our minds. Mind you, it is only a heat wave relatively speaking. Upper nineties is only bad for those who are used to much lower temperatures and, as a result, do not have things like air conditioners. Actually, as far as swimming goes, our current climate is what I have dealt with wherever I have been for the majority of my life.

When I was a kid in Colorado, we used to call the bank every thirty minutes most summer days, waiting for the temperature to hit the magic level of 90+ so that we could go to the outdoor pool where, at that level of heat, the water was ice cold. Later on in Temuco, Chile we would go to the Piscina Municipal under similar conditions, only around Christmas time when they had their mild summers. Now that was a wonderful pool! But, once again, you had to deal with the initial plunge into frigid waters.

It was the same thing here in Dresden last week. They key to cold water is getting in quick and having it over with. Once you get your head wet, everything is just fine—exhilarating even. Going slow is terrible, because your lower extremities are sending alarms up to your upper body screaming. “Go back! Get out! Danger!” Of course, they tell you the shock of a sudden plunge can be detrimental, but tell that to people I knew in both Colorado and Chile who loved to go back and forth from extreme cold to hot. (In Colorado it was alternating plunges into a hot tub and snow, Chileans preferred hot springs and mountain streams.)

Somewhere in there is a lesson for life. When we are caught in the lie of a comfort zone and we know we need to take the plunge into the exhilarating rush of a purposeful life, a gradual change never seems to work.

1 comment:

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