I love swimming. I have Lynn Sherr's book Swim: Why We Love the Water to a very dear friend, the actor Erik Todd Dellums. I wrote about him on my blog last year after he was featured in the Washington Post. Erik is a swimmer too. We compare our swim routines and coaches.
Here is an article at The Daily Beast by Lynn Sherr Swimming to Health which discusses all the benefits of a swim routine.
I couldn't agree with this more - the skin is our largest organ, so swimming is our most sensuous sport. Little wonder poet Paul Valéry described the sea as his lover: “In it, I am the man I want to be.”
Some other money quotes:
Movie star Esther Williams adds flatly, “Swimming is the only thing you can do from your first bath to your last without hurting yourself. When you’re in the water, you’re weightless and ageless.” No knees pounding the pavement. No joints slamming against a ball or a wall. Buoyancy protects the most vulnerable parts of our skeleton.My swim coach is so young she had never even heard of Esther Williams! I sent her this video last year.
And this I didn't know about Lord Byron:
For people with certain disabilities, swimming feels like a miracle. The poet George Gordon, better known as Lord Byron, was born with a club foot, a contracted Achilles tendon that gave him a pronounced and debilitating limp. In the water, he moved like an eel.She concludes her excerpt with this poem (I love this!)
Consider the poetry of Dr. Edward Baynard, from 1764:
Of exercises, swimming’s best,Strengthens the muscles and the chest,And all their fleshy parts confirms.Extends, and stretches legs and arms,And, with a nimble retro-spring,Contracts, and brings them back again.As ’tis the best, so ’tis the sumOf exercises all in one,And of all motions most compleat,Because ’tis vi’lent without heat.
I am a proud Pieces. That's enough for me!