Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Swimming Success

So my daughter started taking swim lessons last week. I’ve deemed them a success thus far based on the following two criteria: 1) there has been no crying and 2) there have been no “accidents” in the pool…at least none of the obvious, attention-getting, clear the pool kind of accidents that I feared from my newly (mostly) potty trained little girl.

However, there was a time in my life where it took far more than lack of tears and strong bowels to deem a trip to the YMCA a success. You see, once upon a time, when it came to swimming, I was good. Yes, I am testing the spirit of NTB from the get go in making such a bold statement. You’d be hard pressed to get me to utter those three words about any other sport I was a part of, but there was a time when I ruled the waters.

Let me put this in perspective in clarifying that I swam competitively from age 6 to 13. Maybe I can claim greatness without feeling boastful since I’m talking about a time that seems eons ago, and, let’s face it, who cares how fast a 10 year old can swim a lap? Maybe it’s because I can recall so clearly the frigid water during those early summer morning practices, or the daily practices during Christmas break where I’d have to leave a slumber party before the donuts were even served to get to practice. (This due to my obsessiveness, not the result of overbearing parents.) Because of those sacrifices I feel entitled to speak freely of any success. Well, whether it’s true or not, I remember being good.

So, a week of sitting poolside, smelling that familiar chlorine aroma inspired me to suit up over the weekend. I donned my signature red cap and of course secured my goggles. I’ve noticed that not many swimmers use the goggles from my heyday…Speedos with black foam around the edge. Plastic has replaced the foam. No thank you…how do you know they are suctioned on there? I had a broken blood vessel high on my cheekbone during my formative swimming years and beyond, self-diagnosed as being from excessive pressure when making sure my goggles were on tight enough. I wasn’t about to abandon ship as I made my grand re-entry into the water to swim laps for the first time in years.

What came next surprised me. I got in the water and for the first time in my life, I looked to the other end and thought, “wow, that looks really far.” Did I really make it to the other end in 18.89 seconds as a 6 year old? (My longest standing record…lasted about 5 years…does that mean my swimming career peaked at age 6? Perhaps.) Alas, I started swimming and clichéd as it sounds, it was like riding a bike. I will admit that during parts of my 50-minute session, I had the sensation that I was swimming in an infinity pool…you mean I am not to other side yet? I will also admit that my prowess in butterfly has certain fallen by the wayside. I only did two laps of it (but certainly not two laps in a row.) So, am I still good…maybe not. However, I took solace knowing that I don’t think I was bad enough to give the young lifeguard any material for mocking.

It was a successful enough trip that, yes, I plan to go again.

1 comment:

MEP said...

For you, swimming brings back memories of the thrill of competition and success (all well-deserved, of course). For me, swimming brings back memories of awaking early to travel to Y's throughout greater Cincinnati. Instead of swimming, I holed up in sweaty gyms and corners of Y's where I read novels, ate snacks from the concession stand, and felt intimidated by the swimmers.

Nice post, LAP. I'm happy for you that you're swimming again!

 
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