I am SOOOO thrilled to be back doing laps again! And to be doing it at a pool with the best view in the world – well, that’s a wonderful bonus.

The Pukalani swim center, with its six-lane Olympic-size pool, is without a doubt the IMG_4600pool with the world’s most beautiful view. And I should know.

Swimming used to be my favorite exercise between 1983 and 2005.  For most of those years, I would swim about a mile at least 5 days a week.  While other people were eating lunch, I would go to my club and swim. And have an apple and a yogurt for lunch afterward.

My routine would not change much even when traveling. Which I did extensively during my active business life. I racked up several million mile-accounts with multiple airlines during that period, mostly from international travel.

Even when I was teaching a seminars in Sydney, or Mumbai, or Tokyo, or even London and New York, I would spend the lunch hour doing laps while the attendees ate their meal.  When I showed up later for the afternoon sessions, I’d have my suit, shirt and tie back on, so they would be none the wiser as why I did not join them at the table. Nor why their speaker was so energized when they were all ready for a siesta. 🙂

The point is  –  I got to know pools around the world.  Literally.  So when I say that the Pukalani pool has the best view in the world, you can bank that statement. But just in case you still have doubts, here are some pictures I took this afternoon.

IMG_4604 IMG_4599 IMG_4600


So if swimming was such an important part of my life for so many decades, why did I stop – I am sure you are wondering?

In 2005, I had a major surgery on my right shoulder – badly torn rotator cuff. The surgery was to repair the injury I sustained while climbing Camelback Mtn in Phoenix.

Correction. The mishap actually occurred while I was taking a photo of another beautiful Arizona scene. The ground I was standing on simply gave way. And I slid down the mountain holding my right arm up awkwardly to protect the camera. As it turned out, I saved my camera but killed my shoulder. It snapped on the way down the hill. I could hear it crack.

It took almost a year to recover from that surgery sufficiently to try swimming again.  Which I did regularly, but no longer a mile each time, and not as many times a week. I was also doing yoga back then. So swimming became a supplemental exercise.

Then in 2008, I sustained another surgery on my left shoulder, this time. Also rotator cuff, but not as badly torn.  That shoulder had been weekend when I was injured during a college basketball game. An opposing player’s elbow landed on my left shoulder after we came down from fighting for a rebound. Being young, I just put some ice on it, and in a few weeks forgot all about it. But the body remembered.

Back to 2009, after three months or so, I would have been able to swim again. Alas, that’s when we moved to Maui and I had other priorities in my life. Like clearing the jungle in the gulch of the Rainbow Shower with a machete and a chainsaw.

I resumed swimming at this very Pukalani pool once or twice a week in late 2010/early 2011. Later that summer, my landscaper quit. So I had to take over the maintenance of the entire 7 acre-property. Riding a tractor mower for four hours is not exactly my ambition in life. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

Unfortunately, during one of those rides, the front wheels of my mower hit a tree root I did not see in time, and the sudden jerk tore my right shoulder rotator cuff again.  Ouch!

I considered going under the knife again but decided against it. Being a shaman by then, I figured I’d try to get some Divine help in the healing process. But the most important ingredient was Patience.  It took a few years. And I did have several setbacks. But here I am again, being able to swim laps again, virtually pain free.

Yeah! So you can see now why I was so excited this afternoon at the Pukalani pool after finishing my laps. I did it a slow, “pedestrian” way. But hey, beggars can’t be choosers. Plus I did it after working for a couple of hours at theRainbow Shower cutting some tree limbs with a manual saw – part of my “farmer’s yoga.” 🙂

The beautiful view was a bonus. And an incentive to keep coming back.

* * *

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