The psychological pleasures of the pool are so appealing, says author Harvey S. Wiener, "I always run the risk of sounding like a madman." He sees these benefits to the mind:

Relaxation : "The combined effects of the water and the regular rhythmical action of the swim create during and after the activity a restfulness unlike any you can experience elsewhere."

Element of play : Childhood memories of splashing under the sun "restore us to childhood joy and delight."

yCreativity : "The water has some mysterious effect upon the mental process . . . you're not just thinking -- you're thinking better and clearer and sharper than you ever have before." Much of his book was "written with my head an my arms lifting in and out of a lane. Ideas grew as my mind floated free."

Elemental : Swimming "is the only sport in which you are aware of physical contact with the medium." You achieve a "conscious sensuality" from the feel of the water over your body.

Confidence : " . . . knowing that you're keeping your body fit and in tune." Insight : "You move about in a state of altered sensory perception.The swim directs thinking inward because your senses no longer dependably deliver information about the outside world; and, because the mind is responding to unusual, muted, sensory data it can free itself to focus upon inner states."