I wake up, cozy in my bed, then I move, my thigh aches, I push back the cover to see a large Hematoma on my right thigh, I wince, as I swing my legs out of bed. ” Not to worry, I don’t kick that much anyway”, I chuckle to myself, as I pull on my swim suit, sweat pants and my big down jacket.
Out the door I go, and back to Newport, an hour drive. There, the pool looks inviting, with it’s glass like water. The sky is vibrant blue and the odd cloud reflects in the water. If it was not 31 degrees, it would be the most inviting of scenes.
The time comes for the 200 Free, I am in one of the first heats.Some of the other swimmers are nervously chatting about the distance, with understandable reservations, some have pulled out. I pull on my cap and secure my ear plugs firmly in place, negative talk, is not what I need to hear, I block out all conversation and focus on the upcoming 4 laps…. and surviving. I have had 3 swims to learn the ropes, now it is time to go swim the ultimate test…”Skinny girl verses 200 Freestyle in 31 degrees”. It should not be possible, yet I know it is.
I walk out to the ice, and strip off my clothing. My breathing is labored, I take a minute to slow it down, I step into the water.I glance at my fellow swimmer, in the lane beside me, it is a knowing exchange, and then we are off. The water is intrusive, like a slap on the face, it demands retaliation, I don’t let it. ” Long strokes, relax”, I send my mind firm instructions, it works. One lap down, ” Hey, this is not too bad”, I think. 2 laps down, ” that’s 100 done”, I announce. The third lap, I can no longer feel, my face. Now, just one lap to go, stopping is not an option, I can sense the end is near.Then, before I know it, I am grinning ear to ear, I am done!
I climb out of the steps, and realize that I am not grinning at all. My mouth has frozen into a grimace.But inside I am ecstatic, I survived, am reasonably unscathed and, I’ll be darned I had a good time, who knew!
My time a respectable 2:52.44, for second place.
Next up the awards ceremony, and an always enjoyable visit with my fellow swimmers. My next swim date? Tomorrow at 81 degrees and in the comfort of the pool. I’ll suffer through it!
What’s up next? SCAR Arizona. Dessert swimming, and I can’t wait!
Closing thought: : Fun helps remove the barriers that allow people to motivate themselves” – Herman Cain