Swimming with Dolphins

February 23, 2007 at 12:34 am (Uncategorized)

The past few weeks, for about the last four, I’ve been feeling like complete crap – just really, really exhausted and bone-weary. A deeeeeeep down exhaustion that was hitting me right in the soul. I generally have a pretty outstanding constitution, so I get frightened when something goes wrong, and I probably exaggerate the problem in my mind. I guess you’d call that hypochondria. But the weird, exhausted feeling itself was absolutely genuine, and I’ve never experienced anything like it. I felt waves of tiredness dragging my head down toward my chest as I sat here at my desk. Last Sunday, I started falling asleep holding a bowl of pasta. It was kind of scary, actually. And it was in my head, too, I was really, really exhausted in my head. Nothing seemed to be working, everything seemed leaden and difficult. Thick.

Anyway, it must have been some kind of virus, because it’s cleared out now and I feel normal again. I can’t tell you what a relief this is – I didn’t even get a cold last winter, not one, but this thing had me ironed out like a wafer. I eased myself back into some exercise yesterday with a brisk walk, but it was only this morning that I felt up to a run. Light cloud cover offered perfect protection, keeping the temperature down and my skin out of Sydney’s harsh direct sunlight. There was a gentle breeze. And I’d just started running when I looked out to the ocean just in time to see a dolphin at the back of its pod do a great triple back flip. Yes, things were definitely looking up.

The dolphins stayed with me just off-shore for lap #1. In fact, it’s because of them that I even did lap #2. I just couldn’t take my eyes off them, the one at the back especially, who kept up the stunning aquabatic display. I was getting a kink in my neck from having my head at right angles to my body, but it was totally worth it. Up and down the beach they went, and up and down the beach I followed, for an hour, feeling more and more exultant every time they leapt and twirled and spun. I cried out a couple of times, just for sheer joy, and I wasn’t the only one – a crowd from the English Language School filled their balcony, cheering and applauding every time the show off in the water did another trick. Then the sun came out from behind the clouds, and the skies cleared to their perfect, almost surreal blue. Suddenly it was a perfect day, and the dolphins looked to have known all along it would be.

After my 10 kms, I came home and changed for my swim. When I got back across the road, the pod was right out front. I could hardly believe my luck. There was a class being taken by the surfing school, and all the new recruits got a lot more than they bargained for this morning: the pod of dolphins, coming by to play. I jumped in the water and went out almost as far as the surf school because the conditions are perfect for me today – glassy, neat little waves and no big rips. The dolphins passed right by. Some of the surfers couldn’t have been more than a couple of metres away. I was probably something more like 15 metres from the pod, but I was close enough to see the water sliding down their fins as they rolled over the surface of the waves.

I got out, and then got right back in again. I just couldn’t leave until they did. They headed up to the northern end, and finally, more than an hour and a half since I first saw them, they headed out toward the next beach. I haven’t had a morning quite that good in a long time. It just does not get any better than that. I feel energised, excited, optimistic, healthy, and properly awake for the first time in weeks. Dolphins fill me with something childlike. It wells up inside me whenever they’re close by, and I think it’s just a really basic kind of happiness. It may not be everyone’s remedy, but if you ask me, swimming with dolphins sure as hell beats running with scissors.



  1. chrisfiore5 said,

    hello Di, just dropped by to check out the latest entry in your blog… which I enjoyed immensely. To under take an entry a day on your blog is quite the task! Hope all is well in the land down under. peace.

  2. doctordi said,

    Thanks, chrisfiore5, I’m really glad you enjoyed the post, although I regret to say I’m not entirely sure who you are…! None of your registration details include your name, although I have my suspicions (which start with the letter ‘F’). All is well, thanks, and may there be peace indeed.

  3. doctordi said,

    Me again. I think my first guess was wrong. Do we even know each other?!

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