Keri Brenner: Wishful swimming |

Keri Brenner: Wishful swimming

This photo is inspiration to keep moving despite injuries — even if it’s under water.
Getty Images | E+

As I continue to rehab from my July 30 mountain bike crash, I think about lap swimming.

It is such a precious commodity in Nevada County. Can I rise at 4:30 to catch the 5:30 a.m. master swimmers at Memorial Pool in Grass Valley? Can I arrive at South Yuba Club in Nevada City at a time after work when the (tiny) pool is open to lap swimming? Or will I be pre-empted by water aerobics or water volleyball? Can I drive a half-hour to Bear River High School to use their pool at night? In December, when the new lap pool opens at Berryhill, will it be jammed with others, like me, rabid with pent-up watery desire?

These are the things I think about, especially after reading Nevada City artist and poet Liz Collins’ wonderful poem below. (With sincere apologies to the lovely people in aqua aerobics classes everywhere):

Aqua Aerobics

By Liz Collins

It is sweet the way they wade through the water

seeking each other out before class,

like beavers embarking on a project

some tiptoe to doors close off fresh air

sealing us all in a chlorinated fog.

I see them every third breath,

through steamy goggles

I try to catch the time

stroke stroke stroke breathe

it is almost 9

stroke stroke stroke breathe

I see their colorful suits

their water slippers toeing the surface

stroke stroke stroke

don’t overstay, they will unhook the lanes

they will press you out.

The music starts with Here Comes the Sun

waist high in warm water

they hold their arms out like stork wings

thus beginning Aqua Aerobics.

It is one of the lines I wonder

how I will cross, when I will slip

from boisterous lap swimming

to this class

I smile at them

from my pedestal of “youth”

at 60 years of age, grey hair

hidden under blonde

aging body armored

with exercise.

Maybe it will start with a fall

a broken hip, necessary pool recovery

the suggestion, the class, and like my brother

who entered a hospital and never emerged,

I will never cross back over that line

I will be tired

I will not care

I will be happy

for aqua aerobics.

May this issue of Prospector offer you inspiration to enjoy life this weekend.

And may you be blessed with glorious movement, freedom and happiness — both in the water and out — for as long as you would like, or forever.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User