Perspective

I’m doing a hard workout in the pool the other day, and feeling good about myself.  I feel like I’m becoming an athlete, like I’m almost competitive, like I’m starting to get . . .fast?  Towards the end, I’m doing 10×100 every 2 minutes (I swim 100 yards, and leave every 2 minutes.  100 takes 1:55?  Then I get 5 seconds rest).  Next to me a middle aged woman climbs into the pool.  I’m too hurried (hey, I’m becoming a real athlete here) to stop and talk to her, so I give her the knowing nod – “sure, we can share the lane” and then I take off for #2 of 10.  I finish 2, and she’s still in there, now talking to her friend. I have a life.  A job.  And training to do.  I’m turning into an athlete.  I take off again.  1:50 later, she’s still there, talking.  I’m training.  I will be an Ironman!  3, 4, and 5, and she’s still there talking.  And I’m working.  An athlete.  Training hard.  7 and 8 come and go in a furious splash of speed and effort.  Almost done!  The full workout.  No quitting, no cutting corners.  Its not what we athletes do.  Waiting on the wall between 9 and 10 I hear her say “I guess I’d better warm up” to her friend.  Whatever.  I’m leaving for my last set, because I came here to work, and I’m a real athlete.  As I’m pushing off the wall, I notice that she’s just reaching to put her goggles on.  Ha.  What’s she going to do – 1 lap and then go back to talking?  I push it hard, since it is my last one.

She passed me before I even got the end of the first length.  Like I was going backwards.  During her warmup.  When I had a 10 yard head start.  I’m glad I have a job and my family likes me, because this athlete thing . . . .