I’m Dr. Jim and I think that this whim will not dangle me out on a limb
Since I just want to share some valid reasons why I just plain love to swim.
It’s whole-body exercise, sure, and for some ailments it might be a cure,
But beyond that immersion is healthy, and can make your mind and body purr.
We live life in air, and I like it in there, but a wet world brings me to my senses
I forget my past frets, and worries of the future, and bask instead in present tenses.
Sounds are distorted, bad thoughts are aborted, and the water reshapes my vision;
Buoyancy grabs me, I feel waves and ripples, and I float above my self-derision.
Most of my life I have swum in a pool, a self-contained structure with water that’s clear;
There are chemicals to defuse the kids’ pee and drool, lessening my infection fear.
Lap swimming is what I like best, but admit that monotony gets in my way,
So I swim crawl, backstroke, breaststroke, a bit of butterfly each day,
And add sidestroke, surface dives, flip turns, kicking, and even some corkscrew
Along with some use of hand paddles, swim fins, and a pull buoy, too.
Mindful of bubbles, breathing side-to-side, seeing the bottom or ceiling en route,
I focus on form to feel aquadynamic, ‘bout speed and appearance I do not give a hoot.
I know I could drown with just one misjudged breath
But the joy of immersion outweighs any fear of death.
Have I always restricted myself to the relative safety of a swimming pool?
Heck, no, I love water parks and aquatic play in many other waters cool.
Countless times I have swum in a lake, where no man-eating creatures can cause me to shake.
With a boat nearby, from a dock or a beach, it feels good to swim, even in a ship’s wake.
Some stuff in a river could be bad for my liver, but a gentle flow is so inviting,
And a slippery stone in a fast-moving stream makes a slide there relaxed yet exciting.
For most people the ocean is best place of all, and I have indulged in the seas,
So next I will describe a bit of those times, so wade in my dear friends if you please.
I approach the shore of a wide, sandy beach, and reflexively break into a dash,
Slipping in the dry sand, gaining traction in wet, and landing in a splendid splash.
This water is different, with its salty taste, and the ease with which I can float
On my back, heavy legs now are out straight ahead, just like a bodily boat.
Buoyantly bobbing in the little waves, the weightlessness feels so sublime
That I stare at the sky with its clouds and seabirds, and may totally lose track of time.
Bigger waves entice me to do body surfing, trying to catch waves just right,
But sometimes they tumble me down into the sand, when I misjudge shape and height.
The best place I’ve swum, idyllic it was, ideal water then to be in,
Was in distant Tobago, calm and warm sea, known as the Caribbean.
Aquatic life teemed so close to the shore that some fish swam right there at my feet,
With mask, fins, and snorkel I entered the water and found myself in for a treat.
I know not to touch anything down below, ‘cause fragile is every reef
But surface dives bring closer amazing sights, with colors that defy belief.
Fortunately, sharks are uncommon there, keeping my fear level low,
And I heartily recommend to every swimmer that snorkeling’s a great way to go.
The welcome wet wonders of water are also worthwhile to share
With family or friend, there is no end to enjoyment to be had in there.
Play catch with a water ball, try water polo, and frisbee is great at the beach;
Play “Sharks and Minnows” in deep end of pool, but keep your oxygen in reach.
Swimming and diving teams keep you in shape, competing is healthy for you.
Don’t limit yourself to immersion; try kayaking and canoe, too.
You need not live with the Aquarius sign to be a water nut like me.
We’re all wet on Earth, both inside and out, so go soak yourself in the sea.