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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

Doggy Paddle Days of Summer

Oh how I love it hot hot hot! Notice I didn’t say “humid.” Here in the Mid-Atlantic we are steadfastly in the 90s Fahrenheit. Luckily, we belong to our local or neighborhood pool, not only to cool off, but the swim laps.

Channeling USA’s Katy Ledecky’s freestyle stroke (she has won seven Olympic gold medals and 21 world championship gold medals, the most in history for a female swimmer - ever) over doggy paddle is my stroke of choice, too. Before I jump into the crystal blue water of our pool, I set my watch app, stare down the 25 meter lane I’m about to enter, and contemplate whether I’ll be swimming 64 laps (one mile) or less.

The water rolling over my shoulders with each stroke fills me with summer joy. I find myself smiling through blowing out the water after every fourth stroke, along with the cacophony of children’s screams, the big cannon ball dives coming off the high dive with the reverberating “waves” a few yards away from the lap lanes, and the buzz of voices and music as I lift my head for a much needed breath. I am impressed that my body tingles and the pace quickens after each set of 10 laps.

I strive for a mile a day in the pool, and if I can’t do 64 laps, I’ll settle for 40, or 1000 meters…and not every day as I intend to do. It’s nothing for Ms. Ledecky to swim one, two or five miles, as she prepares for the Paris Olympics, but she is definitely an inspiration for me, and I suspect many others swimming in indoor or outdoor pools.

Swim on…and Katie, how about winning a few more gold medals for old times sake?



Photo credit: Ryan Tomoff


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