March 6, 2013

On Looking Across the River

Years ago I swam across two rivers.

This doesn’t make much sense, specially when you’re standing on one side looking across and mostly see a body of water. But in-between you and a barely visible balloons arch, two rivers flow alongside each other.

When you swim a few kilometers down from where the Orinoco and Caroni river meet, you cross rivers. It has something to do with density and composition of the water — should have stayed awake during that physics class (or was it chemistry?).

The point is, halfway across the 3.1 Km swim something happens. The water changes color, the temperature is different, and even the resistance of water against your stroke feels new. You still must try to paddle as hard as you can without getting too tired, since rivers have a tendency of taking you parallel from where you actually want to go.

I thought about this for a few seconds before pulling my head out of the water to see where the heck I had to swim towards (you also can’t see shit in most rivers). The experience was forgotten for the next 21 minutes, as I made my way to the finish line.

Once on the other end, I gulped down a sports drink, had an orange and looked back. I could now clearly see the two rivers, side by side.

Sometimes you get flash insights during specific moments, but it’s not until a little while later than you really appreciate how your views were changed.

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