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Virtues of the Deep

The other day I saw a know-it-all on facebook who commented on a friend’s thread and then began hurling insults at anyone that dared argue with his highly enlightened point of view. One of his thinly veiled insults was, “you’re obviously off the deep end.”

I never really thought about what that phrase meant too much, but the next day I happened to go to my pool to do laps. (It’s true my body doesn’t just look this awesome all by itself; I have to exercise regularly.) The first thing I did after putting my goggles on was dive into the deep end.

In the past, I have actually dove into the shallow end, but no matter how slight my angle of attack is, I always came too close for comfort of busting my nose on the bottom of the pool. I’m sure many people have broken their beaks doing the same thing, so I don’t do it anymore.

Then I got to thinking while doing laps: why would anyone NOT go off the deep end? Even if you jump into the shallow end, you hit the deck almost immediately. The only thing you can do without risking injury, as an adult, is step into it lightly, and what fun is that?

The only benefit of the shallow end is that you can mill around there without necessarily having to swim, and it’s normally warmer, especially if there are young kids in the pool, splashing around and urinating in the shallow end.

So I determined that the saying about going off the deep end is one that really only applies to young children, who probably should stay shallow, especially if they don’t yet know how to swim. For adults, the deep end should be the only end in which a person should jump.

People must have learned this deep-end saying as children, and like me, probably never thought about what it meant, but then unlike me, continue to use it as adults, in conversation with other adults, as if it is still meaningful or relevant.

After this revelation, I reported my thoughts back to the aforementioned know-it-nothing non-friend on facebook on the same thread, only to be rewarded with more insults, to which I was not surprised.

The great thing about swimming is that your thoughts will soon be wandering, like they always do, but without worrying about running off the road into a tree, colliding with another person on the bike trail, or sustaining an impact injury, as in many other forms of exercise.

I would recommend swimming to anyone with 3 or more working appendages that wants to stay in shape, and still have time to think for oneself, which is becoming a lost art. If you decide to dive in, plunge into the deep end. It’s must safer and more enjoyable that way.

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