You may not remember this notable quote from your literature class in school, but it comes from the much-acclaimed 1797 poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
The poem tells the tale of a mariner’s long sea voyage and the terrible price he pays for killing an albatross that guided his craft to safety after an ice jam.
As the mariner’s voyage continues, his disdain for sea creatures is soon replaced by an appreciation for the beauty of all living things. The guilt he has carried is then lifted.
Re–reading this wonderful verse made me think about how significant all the aspects of the delicate ecosystem in which we live are, and the critical balance with our environment that can be so easily disrupted.
With Austin’s phenomenal growth, traffic and lack of water seem to be among our greatest challenges. While we were blessed with an atypically wet spring this year, it will take much more precipitation to re-fill our wonderful Highland Lakes to their prior grandeur. Unlike our traffic problems though, solving our water problem is not optional.
Our total body weight consists of 70–75 percent water. It’s as though we are an island floating through life. We literally depend on hydration to function; it‘s no wonder athletes worry so much about staying hydrated while they compete. Water protects our organs, regulates body temperature, and flushes waste products from our bodies. Improper hydration can cause headaches, dizziness, confusion, fatigue, muscle cramps, or even death.
But what about the big picture? How else do we depend upon good old H2O? Manufacturing processes and energy production come to mind. And then there’s that little thing called our food supply, both animal and vegetable.
It’s sobering to realize that mother earth has a constant amount of water; it just keeps recycling it over and over. As our population grows, we need more food, more stuff, and more water. So where does that supply come from? Unfortunately, water doesn’t naturally accumulate wherever it is needed. My point: the old saying, “water is life,” should hold a special meaning to all of us. We are blessed to have it and should be considerate and respectful of its use.
On a brighter note, and because this month is our annual swimsuit issue, it should be noted that among water’s most popular use is as a medium for fun and entertainment—and we have plenty of that in the following pages. In addition to some new, sporty, and fashionable water wear, be sure to check out our features on watersports from rowing to kayak polo. To recap: this issue is filled with water, water everywhere.
Enjoy and have a great summer!
Keep Austin Fit,
Lou Earle, Publisher, CEO