Making Friends in Adulthood

Making friends in adulthood. Image of a woman swimming Butterfly in a pool.Shortly before turning 50, I had an epiphany. It wasn’t one of those full-blown, Network-style, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” moments. I didn’t wake up one day and suddenly decide that I needed to leave my husband or quit my job or move my family across the ocean. I’d already done two of those before turning 40, anyway.

My revelation was physical in nature. After spending more than 30 years as a casual runner, my body was telling me to stop. I’d spent years benefiting from a simple, cheap, and enjoyable means of staying in shape. Now I found myself in near constant pain, taking more medicine than I felt comfortable with, and feeling schlumpy and depressed.

I tried physical therapy. I saw a podiatrist. Nothing helped. It rapidly became clear that if I wanted to lead a healthy lifestyle—one that wouldn’t leave me writhing on the floor at the end of the day—I’d need to make a profound change to my workout regime.

“Why don’t you take up swimming?” My doctor suggested. “It’s much lower impact on your knees and it won’t strain your hips.”

Swimming wasn’t an obvious choice. Sure, I’d taken lessons at the local YMCA as a kid, where I learned enough of the basics to stay afloat. That was 40-odd years ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Nor did I think I’d pick it up easily. As someone whose father once told her—at the tender age of eight—that her tennis game ‘would make a great ad for polio,’ I didn’t exactly think of myself as a natural athlete. The only sports I’d ever excelled at were bowling, ping pong and pool. These were all indoor activities, ideally executed with a beer in hand.

What the heck? I thought, Why not give it a try?

Read the rest of this post over at the Invisible City Literary Magazine

Image: Photo by Brian Matangelo on Unsplash

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