When Life Gives You Coconuts and ABBA, Make a Pina Colada

by Carilyn on April 9, 2016


I got injured over Spring Break. The minute I heard the “pop” behind my knee, I knew I was screwed. “Pops” are never, ever good. Sometimes, “pops” don’t even heal.

So I swam.

Every day.

A boat would drop me off far from our resort, and I would swim in. Or I would swim to a beach that turned out to be very private, and had to make a quick escape lest I be arrested. Or so they said.

I swam until there was nowhere else to go. Or until the boat picked me up because its passengers had grown weary of following me around the island.

I should have been sad that I couldn’t run, but I wasn’t. In fact, I was elated. The vacation guilt I always feel about not getting in enough miles vanished like an extinguished match. Poof. Guilt free. Now I could swim like no one was watching. I could swim like I was a normal.

[Tim informs me that normals do not, in fact, like to get dropped off in the middle of the ocean where they have to swim back to their hotel. Normals, he tells me, aren’t particularly fond of anything that lends itself to the Jaws soundtrack. I never saw Jaws. The only soundtrack in my head involves ABBA. I don’t think ABBA worried about getting eaten by sharks in the middle of the Carribbean. Or if they did, they hid it well. I swam while singing Dancing Queen and Waterloo, and no sharks ate me. Thank you, ABBA.]

When we returned home, my leg was still “poppish”. No running for me. So I kept swimming. But now I had no ocean, so the ABBA soundtrack played in my head while I swam up and down in the pool. Not quite the same, but still mesmerizing to me. Light, water, metronomic breathing. In. Out. Meditation.

Swimming outside, just like running outside, can be spiritual. It can take you somewhere that you can only go when you are lost in the movement, lost in the movement and the moment. Is this how dancers feel? I would not know, as I’ve only experienced it while running and swimming. My ABBA soundtrack doesn’t extend to the dance floor, oddly enough. I’m a bit of a bungler.

But, feeling it while running and swimming is enough. And I’m glad I heard the “pop” so I could remember that.




Char April 9, 2016 at 3:50 pm

You’re right. Pops are rarely good. The only good pop I’ve ever heard coming from inside me was when my water broke in my second pregnancy. And even that was pretty unpleasant for four hours. I hope your knee is starting to heal okay.
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Carilyn April 20, 2016 at 4:13 pm

Luckily it all seems to have worked out, Char. Thanks for checking in on me 🙂

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