I was in Las Vegas for five days. Las Vegas is an awful place. I’m going to write a blog post about it next, about life in a food desert and the minor Morgan Spurlock forced food experiment I endured while there. I won’t spoil anything for you, but let me just say, I left there grumpy, and tired and feeling not my best.

I got back to Portland at 11pm last night and slept about 2 hours. I took the day off work because five days in Vegas is enough to make anyone need a day off. I had a meeting with a very smart person in the morning and then went to the gym and squeezed my post-Vegas body into my swimsuit.

The aqua fit class had just wrapped up and some of the old ladies were in the pool chatting and bobbing around and swimming the occasional lap. I rarely swim with other women. Usually it’s a bunch of dudes in the pool and about once a week there’s a new guy who decides that he’s not feeling all that strong or fast or whatever and will catch my eye, push off the wall at the same time that I do and then want to race. I’ve been swimming for two years now and mostly I swim and think and breathe and swim and it’s very relaxing. When dudes do this, I have no choice but to use what two years of swimming has given me. I race them and I win.

The regular dude swimmers who I see week in and week out don’t do this, which is fine because I race them a lot and never, ever win. It’s rare that I get to swim with a pool full of women. So that was today. I got to watch their bodies under water. See their legs and skin and arms. I heard them laugh and catch up on stories.

The weightlessness of swimming is something everyone should experience more frequently. Sometimes when I’m in the pool and trying a flip turn (which I can’t do) or when I’m racing one of the dudes who I see all the time, I feel joy. I feel like a kid. I feel like I’m flying and playing.

These ladies spent their whole time in the pool playing and chatting and being weightless. And one started talking to me. It was lovely. I left the pool reluctantly, but I was tired. I needed to go home and sleep off the Las Vegas trip. But I left happy. I left feeling included. I want to do that again.