Some people are able to get in the zone from running or other exercises, but my exercise of choice is definitely swimming. Having run a 5k, 10k, and even a half marathon, I do feel like I can call myself a runner. If I train long and hard enough, I can complete these races and be far away from the end of the pack. However, running does not come easy to me. The first mile or so is fine, but after that, it's a constant battle with my body saying "What the hell is this? Aren't we finished yet?" and my mind saying, "I'm bored. What else can we do?" Which I think only makes the running feel more difficult than it needs to be. I think that's why I liked racing at Disney. There is so much to look at between the parks themselves and the fellow racers that it keeps me busy and entertained. But training? Boring.
Swimming, on the other hand, is my zen. I get in the water, put my goggles on, and can just keep going and going. The sound of the water and the rhythm of my breathing keeps my mind from thinking of a million different things and I can just focus on what I am doing in that moment. It's my personal form of yoga (and a damn good cardio workout too) and I've missed it this past year.
There are not too many gyms around here with pools in them in our area, but I did find one last week and finally got to go for a swim this evening. It was glorious! I swam all of my strokes and even tackled some laps with the butterfly. It was a great time and the hour I was there was pure bliss. I got home...the strong smell of chlorine, dry skin, and wet hair and had to smile. The pool is my home. It was good to be back.