In the summertime, The Bear buys a season pass at the Shanklin Park Pool, an outdoor swimming pool operated by our local Parks Dept. I go swimming three or four times a week, but I need to qualify what I mean by “swimming.” You see, bears don’t do your typical crawl stroke, breast stroke or butterfly. I don’t do laps in the lanes at the shallow end. Instead, I go to the deep end and paddle along the edges, never touching the bottom or the sides of the pool.

Just treading water and moving slowly… meditatively. For me, swimming is a kind of meditation. Giving attention to my breathing. After completing a full circuit, I take a deep breath, dive down and swim the next length underwater. I go deep enough that I need to repressurize my ears. Thinking about all else goes away — I am concentrating on holding my breath as long as I can. By mid-summer I can easily hold my breath for a minute or more.

I like this swimming and diving because of the way it helps improve my posture and breathing. Turns out there are more good reasons for free diving, as we learn from the Bajau people of South-East Asia. A recent BBC article has the story:
What Freediving Does to the Body

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