I stood on the side of the pool looking through the clear blue water at the painted cement bottom. Little ripples played across the surface inviting me in.
But I knew better. I knew the water was chilly in spite of its clear color and siren's call.
First the toe, quickly retreating from the new ripples it started. Again and then again and again before taking a deep breath and lowering my body in.
With a shiver, I take a deep breath and dunking my head under the water and adjusting to the temperature. I shake my head, take another breath and push of the wall. Smooth, long strokes across the length of the pool. Past the water walkers, past the water aerobics ladies, all the way to the other side. Touch and back down the pool again. Five, ten laps later, it's time to change it up. High knees to the chest, leaping like a gazelle out of the water as I strengthen my hips. Up, up, up, up - 37 steps from one end to the other. Turning, I take 37 more and 37 more and 37 more until I have leapt across 10 lengths of the pool.
Back and forth for 30 minutes.
As I swim and step, I see a hawk circling. I wonder if he spots me and thinks, "I could feast for a year on that." He spirals around again and again before flying off to find something more immediate. I see him dive in the distance. Perhaps he saw a small rodent, perhaps a small dog. He's too far away for me to tell and he doesn't come back up with the object of his attention.
From beyond the fence, I hear the distinct ping of a baseball off an aluminum bat from the little league camp just beyond the pool in the back part of the park. Back across the pool towards the bath house. I can feel my muscles strengthen as I go.
Looking up at the clock, I see it's time to go before the children flood into the locker rooms and beyond. Bidding farewell to the solitude of the pool, I pull on my cover up and leave. I'll be back tomorrow, to swim and leap all over again.