The Beauty of Breathing

Shelby - Scotia, New York
Entered on March 10, 2009

I believe in the beauty of breath, especially underwater. Each breath becomes so important, with every stroke I take.

The bubbles run down my skin with each stroke. My feet kicked and water sprayed up from behind me. My hands entered the water in a quick but smooth movement and then shot out of the water once again. I followed the thick black line on the bottom of the pool with my eyes. My lungs ached with each stroke. My mind is focused on ending the lap and breathing once again. I counted the yards to the wall and tried to use any of the remaining energy that I could find inside me. Five, four, three, two, one. Finally, my hand touched the rough pool wall. My head shot out of the water and I take a big, deep breath. The air was thick with chlorine but it helped to soothe the burning in my lungs. I glanced over to the clock as the second hand swiftly moves to the fifteen. It seemed to move more rapidly, leaving me only a few seconds to breathe. The second hand landed on the thirty and I propel my body from the wall, and it started all over again.

This exercise is called “no breathers.” The swimmer must hold their breath and sprint to the other end of the pool. By repeating this exercise it helps to build up lung capacity. Your muscles become sore and tight, every stroke grows weaker, and your mind only wishes for a breath to melt the pain way.

Marthe Jocelyn, the author of Would You said, “Only underwater is a person so aware of the beauty of breathing.”

I, too, believe in the beauty of breathing. Breathing is a vital part of life on Earth. Breathing maintains the constant balance between life and death for every living thing. It is truly Mother Nature’s best work of art. Each breath brings life and the possibility for tomorrow.

We should cherish each breath. We never truly understand how much each breath means until we can’t take a needed breath. Only until my lungs ache for a breath do I truly see how much each breath means. I think we take breathing for granted because it comes naturally, and we never think about it. Our bodies are just programmed to breathe without a second thought, especially in the water.

Each time I swim, I think of this quote and I am thankful for each breath I take. I remember with every stroke the beauty of breathing and the important of each breath.