The average person may consider this everyday routine monotonous, yet it’s my escape from everyday life. Distance swimming has considerably decreased my anxiety in a way other stress-management techniques have not.
Ten words from a doctor completely suffocated me in the deep end: I want you to give up swimming for a while.
No, I said. What do you mean, give up swimming?
I thought I would become insane. I weighed only 94 pounds at this time, so even though I went to the pool almost every day, my doctor made me prioritize health over joy.
Sacrificing swimming improved my physical condition at the time, but it also wreaked havoc on my emotional well-being because I lost my primary source of stress-relief. As a result, my anxiety skyrocketed and I suffered from panic attacks every other day for a couple months.