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 . . . .