You have all heard the story that someone of the older generation tells when the younger generation is kvetching about how hard life is.
"When I was a child I had to walk uphill to school. Both ways."
I think it is possible they were telling the truth.
I discovered something similar recently at my community pool.
I like to swim in the smaller seventeen metre pool if it is available. There are various reasons for this.
It is warmer.
It is shallow at both ends.
It is beside a huge floor to ceiling window so there is lots of natural light.
Because of the current from the nearby river feature in the adjoining pool area, when I swim west to east in the lane it is easier than swimming east to west. This gives me a good workout as I swim against the current.
Usually this smaller pool is roped off so you can only swim in the lane closest to the window.
The other day the whole pool was available and I decided to swim in a big circle rather that just an immediate turn around at the end of each lane.
And you know what?
If I swim west to east on the far side it is against the current, and when I come up the lane near the window from east to west it is also against the current.
One day while swimming another swimmer stopped me and commented that swimming against the current was like swimming uphill.
And it is. I count my strokes when I swim and with the current I complete the length in 14 strokes. Against the current it takes me 22 strokes. The current works against my glide.
When I swim with the current I feel like I am flying through the water, but when I swim against the current I feel all my muscles working to propel me through the water.
Swimming with the current feels great. It is swimming with ease, gliding with speed, breathing easily, feeling free.
But, lately, I prefer swimming against the current.
It allows me to feel all my muscles. It allows me to experience the hard pumping of my heart, and heavier breathing in my lungs. It makes me pay attention to my balance in the water and the position of my head when I breath on the right side. How is it different than when I breath on the left side? How does using a six beat kick change my forward progress versus my usual two beat kick?
I learn a lot swimming against the current.
But, then again, I already knew that.
I have been swimming against the current most of my life.
I learn the most about my self in this life through the challenges I have faced.
It is hard being human.
But we knew that before we incarnated here.
Hard is how we learn the lessons we came here to learn.
So, I will continue to swim against the current.
And build muscle.
For what is still before me.