What I think about when I swim

Man of swimming in the ocean with his back to the camera

Disclaimer: That’s not me!

A thousand apologies, dear Reader. It’s a seriously long time since I scribbled down anything on this ole blog of mine.

But I was recently inspired to write after a bit of chitchat with a coworker. We were having a chinwag about exercising and she asked me what I thought about when I swim.

I thought it would make a good blog post, and here we are now!

So I’ll just take it away: When I’m swimming, I think about…

The day’s events

Often as I’m zipping through the water, I’ll go back over the events of the day.

I think about this project, or that project, or this strategy, or that strategy, or the day’s challenges. I form a little plan in my head about how I might tackle it tomorrow.

Must be something about water that frees up the brain, as I often have my creative ideas or ‘Aha!’ moments (not the Norwegian band!) in the shower, for some odd reason!

Sure, I plan my tasks on paper first. But some of my planning takes place in the swimming pool, too! Weird!

The swim itself

I go to there to exercise and be the best physical version of myself. That drives me forward.

At times, I hear the little voice in my head telling me ‘You’re doing it all wrong. Your technique is too ragged’, and I find myself going back to the swimming videos I’ve been watching on YouTube.

I observe how good I’m feeling when I’m swimming and watch out for any lulls in my own concentration.

The more I concentrate, the more I get into ‘the zone’; and the more I get into the zone, the better I feel. Magic!

My life

No swimming sign with the text "Philosophical reflections only, please" across the bottom of the image

Unless you’re doing the brutal butterfly stroke, swimming is very relaxing. No matter how hard or soft you’re going at it in the water, you soon feel wellbeing flood over you. The stresses of the day – what stresses? They just melt away.

And as my mind starts to clear of the everyday things, I start to become more reflexive and the pool becomes Pete’s Philosophical Swimming Pool!

My thoughts turn to my life, to how things are going, to the changes I need to make to improve my station in life: “How can I make my life better? Will it always be this way (it won’t)?”

Lifestyle questions arise: “Should I go on a holiday? Where?” Friendship questions arise: “I haven’t seen so-and-so for a while. Maybe I should catch up with a few friends.”


Selfish sod, aren’t I. But it’s important to be self-aware, so I reflect on my own personal development and how I conduct myself: Am I being the best version of myself? How can I be a better version of myself?

Things that I read, am reading or have read pop into my head. Did I follow the advice? Have I learnt the lessons? Did I behave in the right way? Have I let myself down?

The answers often vary!

We all know the cliché of ancient Greek philosophers sitting on rocks in sandals, heading resting on the hand, and pondering life’s big questions. But that’s all changed.

Here in the 21st century, that rock has been replaced by a swimming pool, and there’s some serious soul searching going on in the water!

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