Saturday, November 13, 2021

Hydrotherapy for the Win

I found myself at a hotel overnight about a month ago. More importantly, I found myself in my happy place. 

The pool.

Our backyard above ground pool has been dying a slow death this past year, with promises from my husband that it has seen its the last year. Threats, but sadly not idle ones. Metal over time rusts; and ours is rusting terribly. It currently is sitting completely empty, drained, somewhat a sad little puppy--and I envision the hack saw isn’t too far away. I'm not sure who will mourn its loss more—me or our Portuguese Water Dog.

I think it’s going to be me.

As I was in the pool this weekend, reunited with the zen that comes to me when I’m in the water, I was in the one place I can truly be in the moment. [I’ve written about this before, more than once.] I do a version of Tai Chi in the water, focusing my movements to my breath. Having taken a Tai Chi class before, I know there are distinct movements in the martial art, so I can’t call what I do Tai Chi. Maybe I’ll call it “My Chi.”

In the water, I can move in ways I can’t on dry land. I don’t swim. But my “My Chi” is a version of water aerobics and knee-lift bouncing/running that would never happen in a world with gravity and the knees I currently have. Lately too, as my knees have gotten worse and medical injections don’t seem to have the magic they once did, my “My Chi” surprises me and what I thought my body was capable of. Gone is the pain, all because of the gentle pressure of the water. I can do more. I can do my calisthenics bouncing for hours in the water, when being on my feet and walking on land hurts far more than I'd like.

Recently as part of some school diversity/inclusivity professional development, we did an identity wheel based around our own self identity focused about a dozen identifiers including gender, race, age, spirituality, and more. After reflecting on ourselves, we went through a series of questions analyzing where we felt we were how it related to our teaching. We then congregated by the identifier in the room that answered that for us. The first question: "Which one of these categories do you think about every day?" For me, it was “physical ability/disability.” For too long now, my knees are a constant thought. What I can I do? What can’t I do? How does it feel? How does it limits the things I enjoy like hiking or even walking? It has me feeling my age and mortality all of a sudden, way more than I like.

As I was in this very simple hotel pool, doing my moves, I felt invincible and energized in a way I haven’t felt since the sunny days of summer. 

I didn’t want it to end. 

I talk often about #BlueMind—both here and in my own brain space. Here in this hotel pool, I realized I was also talking about #BlueHealing as well. Hydrotherapy for the win.

Pool picture from my camera, quoted picture created at

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