Friday, August 25, 2006

lap time

My friend Emma is a triathlete. For you lay(zy) people out there, a triathlete competes in three different athletic events in one day: biking, swimming and running. Now, I'm no triathlete. I don't even pretend to be moderately athletic. But lately I've been trying to swim laps in our pool, mostly because I don't feel like I've gotten enough use out of it this summer, and also, the pool is scheduled to be closing on Labor Day.Sometimes I feel like a charlatan for wanting to swim in the lanes. There are usually enough good swimmers—they with their bathing caps, swim goggles, and racerback swimsuits—who want to swim, so I’ll usually swim for a set period of time, get out, let them swim for a while, and then when there is another free lane, I’ll jump in again for a few more minutes. While they are swimming their perfect laps, I console myself that at least I have a better tan.

Yesterday afternoon, there was an older man already swimming laps in one of the lanes when I got there. No problem, there are four lanes. I jumped into the lane furthest from him and proceed to swim-very slowly. This man, although older, looked like a competent swimmer, and in fact he swam faster than I did and for a longer period of time. After about 20 minutes I got out of the pool and toweled myself off. A few minutes later, he got out of the pool, and that’s when I saw that he only had one leg. Yup, one leg. Whatever little pride I had, and there wasn’t that much let me tell you, completely left me. I was, however, in awe of this man with one leg.

Rock on, one legged man. I can only hope to one day be as good as you.

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