Ever since my stay in the hospital, Lisa and I have had a pact: someday we would return to Kauai (the Hawaiian island where we spent our anniversary last year) and go snorkeling again. Well, today I took the first step toward realizing this promise — I went swimming.
This evening, on the one year anniversary of the last time I swam in a body of water, Lisa and I went down to the community pool at Berkeley High and splashed around for about an hour. I don't think I can adequately describe just how strange it felt to be buoyant and surrounded by water once again.
At first the sensation was almost too much to bear. I almost never walk without shoes these days because the stimulation of the parts of my feet I can feel right next to the parts I can't, creates an unpleasantly intense experience. Getting into the water for the first time was kind of like that.
Eventually, though, I was able to adjust and get comfortable. It helped that the pool is kept at about 93ºF. I even did some swimming. I tried out different strokes and, while kicking was a bit of a challenge, I managed to move myself along at a respectable pace.
I'll be asking my physical therapist for some aquatic exercises to do next time and we'll be going back to the pool very soon. Then all I have to do is work on my air travel skills for that return to Kauai.