Swimming, Walking, Running—Why Mindful Movement Can Boost Resilience 

You don’t have to be an experienced swimmer or even particularly athletic to benefit from marrying mindfulness and movement.

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I’ve loved swimming since I was four years old, when my dad taught  me to stick my face in the water, lift up my feet, and do the dead man’s float. A strong swimmer since then, though not competitive, I can swim for miles if I want. But one morning last summer, while doing my early morning laps in a sunlit outdoor pool near my home, I suddenly felt I was drowning. One minute I was confidently stroking out my favorite front crawl, yards from the end of the lap, and the next I couldn’t use my arms or breathe.  

Gasping and flailing, I struggled to the side, and did a kind of limp-swim to shallow territory, stopping every few feet to grab on to the wall with my shaking wet hand and finally reaching a spot where I could put my feet on the floor of the pool and begin to reckon with the panic attack that had almost taken me down. Still quivering with fear, I tried over and over to swim a few laps but the warm water felt like ice. Other swimmers looked menacing. I could not do it. Heartbroken, I dressed and went home. Swimming had…