My motivation can be minimal for swimming long enough to get some exercise. It can really help to have a friend who will tread water with me, a stranger swimming laps nearby or even simple people watching to keep going. So far this year it hasn't happened.
#1 - Today I wanted to swim and then a friend called and asked if I wanted to go canoeing. So we worked out that she would kayak while I swam next to her. This is the ideal long swim motivator.
#2 - We went to a lake I frequently swim at, but never have had a kayak accompaniment. I asked where she wanted to go and she said it was up to me. "I would feel really fulfilled if I could swim across this lake and back." I replied.
So we began.
It is not a big lake, nor a far distance, but still the farthest I have tried to swim in open water. When I reached the weeds on the other side I tread water briefly, and then we turned back. I felt completely fine! Eventually my neck got a little crampy (I was doing breaststroke) but I didn't have any issues with the distance. I never get to test how far I swim, that is a scary unsafe thought, but today I found out that I could swim across a small lake!
#3 - I wonder how much the gift of the swim today was a reflection of my attitude. My knee has been bothering me recently, so I'm skipping my soccer game again today. I was really bummed about this previously, but today I had come to accept it and was happily thinking I would swim instead. Then my friend called.
#4 - I'm not someone that loves any exercise enough to do it multiple times a week. Some people run 5x a week. NO WAY! Yoga - once or twice is fine. Even soccer - more than twice a week - I'd no longer be interested.
Sometimes I envy people who have the enthusiasm to keep at something on a more frequent basis, but today I can see how enjoying a variety of activities can pay off. When something is injured or needs resting, maybe you can still do something else.
#5 - I played her my new song on guitar and my friend sang some harmonies with it. Lovely!