"Sometimes, when I push off underwater from the wall in a pool, with my arms outstretched in front of me, hands clasped tightly one on top of the other, I tilt my head slightly further up than usual and look in front of me. The force of the push-off sends water rushing along the muscles making them ripple as the water passes up my arms. On the index finger of my right hand a little bubble forms temporarily on my fingernail, lingering there until I break the stretched out form and pull my right arm down and into my first stroke. I am suspended in time for what seems like forever. It completely mesmerises me, this ritual. And it lasts about two seconds. Swimming can be completely hypnotic...
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