Guest Post: Spacious Experience

This is a guest post by Adrianne Stone-Gibilisco. Learn more about her at the end of her post.

As a certified health coach, my mission is to help people lose weight by embracing the habits of health that will allow them peaceful longevity. Eating six times daily, avoiding excess sugars (including alcohol), and exercising regularly all contribute to this joyous equilibrium. As a writer, I find my own sense of balance challenged by distractions that, unchecked, can eat away at my creative energy. How best, then, to find mind/body harmony?

Some people play golf, smacking their aggressions into a tiny white ball and breathing in fresh air surrounding perfectly landscaped green acreage. Some people run, allowing their fleet feet to blur the world behind them. Some people skydive, risking life and limb for the glorious few minutes of feeling like a (quickly plummeting) eagle.

Me?  I hike, bike, do P90X, Kenpo, yoga…whatever tickles my fancy. But what I crave for my personal space, away from all the distractions of home, is a good swim. Nothing intrudes upon my amorphous escape when I’m in a pool – no phones ringing, no personal interactions (“Mommy, can you drive me to the mall?”) – nothing to come between me and the exhilaration of plowing through the aqueous depths.

At Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s Homestead Aquatics Center, 10 glorious lap lanes beckon, nearly always guaranteeing a solo lane in which to get lost in my thoughts with nary a worry of kicking some hapless swimmer in the gut while executing a sidestroke.

Beneath wood beams that buttress a white steel angled roof, I plunge forward, breathing ujaye-style with each stroke. Sunlight beams through the massive windows, bathing the pool in its warmth and allowing brief peripheral views of the towering trees in the fleeting moments when my head swivels upwards for air.

Runners talk about being “in the zone” and that applies here, as well:  about midway into my mile-long swim, the synchronicity of my churning legs, rotating arms, gyrating torso and rhythmic breathing reaches peak balance. My mind travels outside my body’s fluid-driven trajectory to thoughts both personal and universal:  “Shall I volunteer for the Habitat for Humanity project this spring?” “What should I make for dinner?” and, perhaps most pressing, “How shall I segue that troublesome paragraph on my current assignment?”

Soon, as space ebbs and flows around me, clarity returns. Words that were elusive are found once more. By the time I pull myself out of the water, my body is happily spent, my focus is clear and the answers to the questions nagging at me earlier are now crystallized.  Space envelopes me lighter now, buffeting me from my workaday stress. Just add a little water and…presto!

What’s YOUR escape?

Learn more about Adrianne, a writer and certified health coach who also happens to be Joey’s cousin. And Adrianne, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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