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What We Think About When We're Swimming

In an excerpt from her new book 'Why We Swim,' Bonnie Tsui explores the ways that immersion can radically shift our perspective.

Most days, if I’m not in the ocean for a surf at first light, I get into the neighborhood pool by 8:30 A.M. Even when there’s frost on the ground, the water is warm. Unless you’re the lifeguard, blowing the whistle when you want me to get out, I don’t know you exist. For 60 blessed minutes and 3,200 yards, I’m my only audience. In a pool there’s nothing much to look at once the goggles fog over. I have spit and sprayed all manner of antifog fixes into them, and none has kept the mist from creeping up on my vision like cataracts. But I’m OK with that. Sound? The sloshing of water pretty much cancels out everything else. Taste and smell are largely of the chlorine and salt variety—though, at my old pool, I used to smell burgers cooking from the café downstairs. Nowadays I get whiffs of eggs and hash browns from the high school cafeteria next door. Despite all the tech advances of the last few years, you won’t see many swimmers wearing earphones or bone-conduction music devices: they just don’t work that well.

Read the full review or order the book via OutsideOnline