Fitness Corner: Appreciation Through Absence

Fitness Corner: Appreciation Through Absence

Pritam Boots

When I was growing up, all I wanted was a swimming pool. I was obsessed with swimming pools. The most exciting thing in the world for me was when my grandmother came to visit from England and to stay in a hotel with a swimming pool. My sister and I were in that pool all day every day, no exaggeration.

Even though you grew up in San Diego, none of our neighborhood friends had a pool. Now you’re thinking, San Diego? How about the beach? No, there is no comparison with the pool, says my 10 year old myself!

However, there was one exception, and it was a huge exception. Bill Walton (basketball legend) and his family lived at the end of our neighborhood, and they had a huge glorious pool. Sometimes we had to go down and swim in it. Being young, I had no idea who Bill Walton was, but I knew a good group when I saw her! (Years later, by the same pool, my dad and Jerry Garcia of Grateful Dead met 25 years later, and Jerry and Bob Weir met…but that’s another story.)

So, when my husband and I moved to Dallas from Edmonds, knowing the hot summers lay ahead, we agreed we wouldn’t compromise—we prioritized a house with a pool.

We have our own swimming pool. Yay!

It turns out that pools are a huge expenditure of time, energy, and money, something you wouldn’t even think of as a kid. It was also not something we thought much of before we became pool owners. But if we were to make the big move to leave our Edmonds home, we had to make sure we would give ourselves every opportunity to enjoy it here. This decision has paid off.

I love my time in the pool! It is such a pleasure to step outside and take a few moments to sit in the sun or shade, take a dip in the pool, and enjoy the light and warmth. This summer in particular, after my accident, became a place of peace and normalcy, from which I felt free from my frustrations and limitations.

I don’t visit my pool every day, but I do as often as possible as the weather permits. The climate here allows me to enjoy this pool month after glorious month in the warmer part of the year. When I’m not in it, I admire the view from the back window. (What can I say, just seeing a swimming pool lifts my spirits.) It’s a very happy place.

As I write this, I’m looking at our pool. . . It reminds me a bit of Walton’s pool, actually (although their group was bigger, and we definitely don’t have a waterslide). I know my time in the pool is dwindling, despite the sweltering temperatures that fall solidly into the 90-degree range. (If you’re reading this while sitting there in Edmonds at 60 degrees, laughing hysterically, I understand!) But I can assure you. . . The water—and the shade—has taken on an undeniable tinge of coolness—the sweet, but it’s there. After all those years in the Pacific Northwest, I’m still called to the onset of autumn, and I can feel it running into my bones.

I will miss my time in the pool. But I’m ready to go through a period of disenfranchisement from the pool. It is very easy to feel satisfied with something that is available to you all the time, without restrictions. Not having something you love generates a greater appreciation for that thing, and more excitement about it when it’s time for a reunion.

I never want to lose my childish joy and excitement around swimming pools. Taking a winter vacation ensures that I never will.

However I wonder. . . What do I do in the winter months?

Maybe it’s time to cuddle up in my hot tub again. Did I mention that our pool has an attached hot tub? Did I mention that I was obsessed with hot tubs when I was little, second only to swimming pools? When I was in high school my dad set up a redwood hot tub on my aft deck and it felt like the most exciting thing that ever happened to me! I find it exciting to step out of the house on a cold, dark winter’s night, and then plunge into the glorious warmth that warms to the core.

I am still amazed at how much in life to be grateful and, most importantly, to enjoy. If absence makes the heart more fond, as the old saying goes, it is better. I will, to the best of my human ability, never take any of it for granted.

Written by Pritam Potts

Coach Pritam Potts is a writer and strength coach. After over 16 years training athletes and clients of all ages as a co-owner of Edmonds-based Advanced Athlete LLC, she now lives in Dallas, Texas. She writes about health, fitness, grief, loss, love, and life in And the

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