The water becomes alive with waves around me as I make an incision in the surface. I float parallel with the surface, keep my head level with the rest of my body, look down at the blue line at the bottom of the pool. I push my chest down, my body pivots at the fulcrum of my waist, and my hips and legs move up to the surface.

I turn my head to the side to breathe. My mouth is just above the water’s surface. With this side view, my face is half immersed;  one eye underwater and the other above. Stroke. As I reach my hand forward, I drop it below the surface just before my arm is fully extended. My body turns sideways as I cut through the cool medium.

I breathe out underwater, just in time to turn my face sideways again to breath in. Stroke.

One arm, then the other. Already my hand is reaching forward. The left and the right take turns endlessly.

I come up to breathe every five strokes.