Wednesday, July 13, 2011

When the loss of an ipod is not a bad thing

So. Three weeks ago I was in a taxi. The driver had no clue where he was going, and I was late for a meeting. When I finally made it to work, my thoughts were only on being late. I jumped out of the cab, put my purse over my shoulder, and adjusted my ear buds for some musical entertainment to calm my jangled nerves.

Unfortunately, my ipod was gone. The ultimate tip for the worst taxi driver in the world.

This was, in a word, crushing. I had just transitioned to a new laptop and hadn't transferred the music on my ipod to the new system. For one. For two, I had owned this ipod for years. For years. It was a member of the family, a faithful companion during workouts, on transatlantic flights, and drifting off to sleep at night. And I lose it in a DC taxi.


Without the immediate funds to replace it, I knew I had to do without. As I was swimming the other night, I was thinking how weirdly fortuitous it was that I had lost it. (Hmm, yes, I'll go with "weirdly fortuitous.") Most evenings pre-ipod loss, I would do a quick 30 minute workout on the bike or the treadmill, all the while daydreaming and jamming to my tunes. Post-ipod, the thought of working out on either bike or treadmill was just dreary. How boring without the escapist music to entertain me.

Luckily, and again there's that word fortuitously, I was entering my month of mindful living. Without my ipod as my faithful companion, I started swimming. I hadn't done laps in a pool in...Well, I had never done laps in a pool. In fact, the side stroke had become my carefree stroke of choice, and I had all but forgotten the rhythm of a strong forward crawl. (A stroke I had loved and enjoyed as a teen.) Without my trusty ipod companion, I found myself in the pool almost every night, a little hesitant and self-conscious at first. Since I had to concentrate on my breath and re-learn the stroke, there was no room in my mind for daydreaming or escapism. While swimming, I was (and am) very present, in my body and in my breath.

Now, I am an addict. Swimming has become a calm, centering exercise that allows me to be present completely and totally in my body.

If I hadn't had the cab ride from Hell, if I hadn't lost my ipod that fateful day, I might never have come back to swimming and found something so awesome.

Life is weird that way.


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