So I’m sitting here tonight wondering why the evening’s swim took almost a complete hour to do a mile – a set of 5 laps of breast stroke to warm up, then four sets of ten laps of freestyle, then a set of five laps of breast stroke to cool down.
(A nautical mile, that is – 2,000 yards. 2 kilometers for y’all north of the border types.)
Then I add it up and realize there’s an extra thousand meters in there. Crap. No wonder it took so long. Go figure. Good thing I’m long past being paid to do math upon which people might live or die. Mostly now, I just deal with money.
Wow. I feel much better now. Tonight’s swim was another microcosm of my life. Warmup was great. The first set was in-frickin’-credible. Dunno what it was, but every stroke was stretched out, straight arm and fingers close together just like a canoe paddle cutting through the water, the kicks were powerful, rhythmic, and straight-legged, and the flip turns were quick and powerful. Probably I shouldn’t have stopped to catch my breath after ten.
The second ten were painful. White boy got no rhythm. Knees were flailing, arms splashing, breath gasping. Just ugly. Third ten were kind of better – started bad, but I concentrated on improving one part of my stroke with each lap – first my left arm, then my right, then breathing, then straight-legged kicking, then pointing my toes, etc, until the last lap of that set felt smooth.
The final set – zen. Focused on the tiles slipping by underneath, took a breath as soon as the cross at the end entered my field of view, flip-kick-twist-stroke-breathe. I counted half-laps: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. And I finished strong. Good stuff.