I'm a Frustrated Swimmer!

I'm a Frustrated Swimmer!
2020-05-08

I'm a frustrated swimmer. Suddenly, after 10 years, my daily training came to an abrupt halt 32 days ago when the pool shut. I'm counting the days and soon I will be counting the weeks, with a sad sigh of longing.

Of course whenever one complains about these things, there has to be a note of gratitude to show awareness of how small one's problem is compared to bigger issues. Everyone has been including these kinds of 'disclaimers' on their social media posts. So here's mine: I'm grateful that I still have my job when others don't. I'm grateful to live in a house with a garden, when others live in flats. I'm grateful for a treadmill and bike rollers so I can still exercise. I'm grateful to be alive, when others are no longer.

But after that disclaimer, it's ok to let out your frustration sometimes. It's a healthy thing to do. You can feel grateful *and* frustrated at the same time.

My longing for the water, that amazing sensation of slicing through it almost effortlessly (I'm a front crawler), is like longing for a loved one. Someone on the other side of the world who you can't go and see. I try not to think about it, because my heart 'pangs' every time I do.

Last night I dreamt of swimming while wearing a winter coat (I would, if that's what it took!). I've put a piano stool in the middle of the hall and when lying on there I can simulate the arm and leg movements. I've even bought a wetsuit so I can brave the sea when it warms up a bit (we're talking North-East of Scotland).

We all have parts of our lives that are on hold right now. Things that in some cases are very much part of our identity. It can cause feelings similar to grief. It's ok to feel them and talk about them. It doesn't make you ungrateful or a lesser human being. Instead, talking about the things we miss may help us retain our personal sense of who we are and can help reaffirm our identities to others.

Published by The School of Psychology, University of Aberdeen

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