by: Sohini Ashoke
Chemistry teacher Heather Mellows views swimming as a pastime that reaps various mental and physical benefits. Better yet, Mellows swims as a method to get substantial exercise and to relax and take a break from any stressors in her life.
Mellows has turned to swimming consistently ever since she was young and continues to find ways to fit it into her schedule. “I’ve swam my whole life but I started swimming laps as an adult when I was in grad school because it was relaxing,” she said. “When I moved to Mountain View, I found a pool that was easy to get to and easy to use.”
The pool serves as an easily accessible environment for her to maintain a healthy, fit and enjoyable lifestyle. “It’s a good form of exercise and I find that it’s very even,” Mellows said. “Other things that I do tend to disalign, but swimming, since it’s very symmetric, puts my body back into alignment.”
To make the most out of her time in the water, Mellows avoids any distractions and directs her complete focus, attention and effort to swimming her laps. “I don’t listen to music or use my phone or anything,” she said. “It’s totally thinking time and meditative.”
Swimming also serves several purposes aside from exercise and relaxation. For Mellows, following a healthy and routine activity also fulfills her day by renewing a sense of mental clarity and productivity. “It’s a good time to refocus and reset and get ready for the day,” Mellows said. “I am often tired after I swim, but it’s a good kind of tired, where I feel like I have accomplished something in the day.” With all of the benefits that Mellows has enjoyed from swimming she will undoubtably continue her hobby long into the future.