Swimming Two Years Later – A Look Back

Melissa and I had a great pool swim yesterday, consisting of a 2 x 100m warm-up, then 10 x 50m, 5 x 100m, and finishing with 5 x 200m. Took around an hour and felt great! I think we are both starting to feel just a hint of confidence that we’ll survive the 2.4 mile Iron Man swim in Cozumel. Made me think back to two years ago, when I started swimming in the hopes of maybe, one day doing an Iron Man. I wrote the following piece regarding that first traumatic day in the pool back in August, 2008:

August, 2008 – My First Day In The Pool

Last night I ventured into that great, humbling realm of swim training down at the Sol Blatt P.E. Center at the University of South Carolina. What transpired in the pool last night didn’t so much resemble actual swimming as it did some desperate, soggy, full-bodied seizure. The one positive I took away from the experience is that I managed to avoid drowning or, more embarrassingly, calling out in wild-eyed desperation to the ten year old life guard at poolside. Aside from those things though, it was an achingly pathetic display of atrophied swimming muscles and spasmodic, flailing limbs. Crawling out of the pool after a grand total of three laps, I can only imagine that I resembled some pre-historic invertebrate, clawing it’s way, bug-eyed and gasping mightily, from the evolutionary soup of some great, ancient sea.

To add insult to injury, earlier in the week I let the saleswoman down at the Cycle Center talk me into buying a pair of Speedos – sized an ill-fitting medium – because they were on sale. Thankfully at least, they were not the “bikini” style Speedos, which always seem to be worn by beer-bellied retirees, long past giving a shit about what they wear on public beaches. These were almost knee-length. But they were just as unadvisedly tight – the kind of tight that would inspire lawmakers to include harsher sentencing language in public decency legislation. I knew I had made a mistake the moment I donned the suit. Micro-fibers of quivering spandex stretched dangerously taut around my thighs, clinging desperately together for dear life and resembling some strange, unsavory variety of blue sausage casings.

I moved as quickly and stealthily as I was capable of from the locker room to the pool, which is to say not very quickly and not very stealthily, all the while diverting my eyes from the perceived, appraising glances of svelte co-eds, although they most assuredly appraised me briefly and with great pity, if at all.

I am, indeed, very happy to have an extra year to prepare for the Iron Man.

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