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by Linda Shoenberger

October 4, 2011

Swimming is so much more than exercise

Evidently not everyone is as enthralled with exercise as we fitness swimmers are. Take my hairdresser for example. He lives across the street from a beautiful little lake in Reno that was built by the WPA many years ago. I mentioned to him, while he was cutting my hair, that I thought he was lucky to live by such a gorgeous place to walk.

His response was, “I never go over and walk. I’m allergic to the “E” word.”

At first it was a little funny that he put it that way. But then I couldn’t help thinking how sad it is that he thinks of walking around a beautiful lake as being distasteful exercise.

In fact people from all over Reno go to Virginia Lake to walk, jog or run around it. The path around the lake is approximately one mile and the scenery is gorgeous. What an easy way to get exercise and enjoy all the seasons of the year!

Swimming in pools, lakes or the ocean feels like fun to me. Even though every time I get in the water I am exercising, I certainly don’t view it as being anything other than completely fun.

So it dawned on me that what makes us so happy (swimming) possibly isn’t even seen by swimmers as being exercise. Cerebrally I can make the connection that yes, I am off to exercise when I swim. But emotionally and physically it is a joyful activity that involves social interaction with friends and healthy and playful competition with fellow swimmers in beautiful settings whether they are pools, lakes or oceans.

Perhaps by participating in a sport or activity that brings us joy is a good way to be a role model for our friends who view exercise as just the “E” word.

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