Friday, April 13, 2012

Swimming Up Stream

Alongside chocolate Easter bunnies and Peeps lined up on death row, in my Easter basket this year was an issue of the New Yorker courtesy of an ever-diligent Easter Bunny that wants to ensure that I am reading things other than Runner's World and Running Times. Little does my mother(errr Easter Bunny) know, I also read Trail Runner and New England Runner. As I was perusing the magazine on my ride back to Concord that night, I found an article by David Sedaris entitled Memory Laps. In this funny article it talks about his childhood as a reluctant swimmer and, amongst many, had a very funny quote that I'd like to share because it could have been me(barring the comedic prose) writing it.

"It was only in competing that swimming became fraught and self-conscious.
More accurately, it was only in competing with boys. I was fine against girls,
especially if they were younger than me. Younger than me and physically
challenged was even better. Give me a female opponent with a first-grade
 education and a leg brace and I would churn that water like a speedboat.
When it came to winning, I never split hairs."

It reminded me of last year's Exeter swim meet where, in the course of one day, I:
 a)lost my swim shorts on three separate occasions,
 b)was disqualified from the butterfly within my first two swim strokes,
 c)stared blankly at my "opponents" as they dove in the water to a weak sounding hum that I thought was someone's cat purring, and
d) was lapped not once, not twice but three times by fellow swimmers during the mile swim which Liz McBride sweetly cut short for me by "miscounting" my laps.

The thing was, though, I was competing against males and females alike and still couldn't churn the water. At least not like a speedboat more like butter with a yarn trying to cut through it.

I do believe that next weekend's New Orleans 70.3 which I am "competing" with have a para-athlete division so not only will I be vying for a place in the water amongst women, I will also have to compete with women with leg-braces or no legs at all. I wouldn't be putting any money on me. I don't think my mother will be either. Thanks mom! :)
Up Next:  Merrimack River Trail Race(4/14), New Orleans 70.3(4/22)

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