Friday, February 02, 2007

TCB

Last night in the pool, I was TCB.

Oh, it’s more than 3 little letters, it’s more than an acronym for the way Elvis lived his life, more than 3 very large, lightning colored letters emblazoned in Graceland’s retro jungle living room. It’s a mindset, an attitude, and for me today, it was a way of life.

TCB was Elvis’ catch phrase for taking care of business. Now, if you’ve been down to Memphis to race but you’ve never been to Graceland then shame on you. It’s something to see. Along with all of Elvis’ fat clothes.

But this isn’t about Elvis. It’s about me, TCB.

The letters came to me today in one of those a-ha, epiphany moments at work. Moments few and far between it seems, but lately I’ve had hours of a megalomaniacal moments at work. Before my director even has time to direct me, I’ve already got the task done. The other day my co-worker said she could literally see the wheels turning. And turning they were, at about 25 mph pushing over 400 watts. Highly unrealistic for me physically, but brain-wise I’m on a binge and I can’t stop. By late morning, I had taken care of so much business I was even starting to scare myself.

And as I walked out of my office en route to lunch, I thought to myself that’s right, I’m TCB. Literally, I had taken care of business. So much business, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself for the rest of the afternoon. But that’s when I remembered someone had already taken care of that business for me – I was invited to a meeting.

A meeting. The bane of my workplace existence. There is nothing more un-TCB than a meeting, especially when you work at a place that is 90 percent women and especially when most of the meetings contain 100 percent women. Rule #1; a meeting with all women never starts on time. Rule #2; a meeting with all women never stays on track. Rule #3; a meeting with all women never seems to end. Rule #4; a meeting with all women will take most of the meeting catching up those that are late and recapping those that got up to go to the bathroom. And, lastly, Rule #5; a meeting with all women will always drift off to talk about daily life. That, my friends, is what you call TCN – taking care of nothing – and is not what I had on my TCB mind for today. So when I started getting ants in my pants as I was anticipating the swim test awaiting me after work, I politely excused myself and left.

Finally, the meeting was done, the work was done, the day was done. But my business was about to begin. Tonight was my swim test, a big set with very little rest. Of course, I arrived at the pool and every lane was stacked. People walking, backstroking, standing at the wall. I stalked the second lane until finally the guy got out and I booked over towards the lane, hoping, praying that in the 15 seconds it took me to walk/run there that no one would sneak into it. Looking for a pull buoy and paddles, I juggled my way through the pool equipment while keeping a watchful eye on the lane, my lane, the lane in which I will elicit much pain when all I kept grabbing were left paddles, LEFT LEFT LEFT LEFT goddammit WHERE are the RIGHT paddles that I need right now before that lane gets snatched up right in front of me, paddles, PADDLES WHERE ARE THE DAMN RIGHT PADDLES AND WHY IS THIS PULL BUOY SOAKING WET.

This is what happens when I drink coffee in the afternoon. This is why I do not usually drink coffee in the afternoon.

I finally made it in the lane. It was all mine. I was warming up, the water felt good. I felt good. The cup of coffee at 3 pm – an idea that was very, very good. About 800 yards into warming up, someone is waving their hands at the wall in front of me and I flip and turn and push off past them hoping if I ignore them they will sulk into another lane.

Not the case.

I was being joined. I did a quick wave before possessing my half of the lane. Fine, whatever. Swim with me. As long as the person didn’t get in the way of my business. She looked like she could swim – heck, she at least had a cap and goggles which is half the battle with these people that occupy the lap pool doing nothing remotely close to laps (walking while talking to your friend is not laps, jumping with foam weights is not laps, stretching your hamstrings at the wall is NOT LAPS).

I started my swim test set. The woman starts breaststroking next to me. Perfect, I was hoping someone would add erratic turbulence to my lane because gasping for air every other stroke over the next xxxxxx yards wasn’t going to be chaotic and annoying enough.

Really, I need to lay off the coffee after 2 pm.

Business begins. Number 1 goes by, 2, 3, 4, 5 all go by smoothly and without too much oxygen-deprived pain. Number 6 sneaks on in. And then 7 hits me hard. Where the hell did 7 come from? And who pissed it off? All of a sudden my arms are exploding and my stomach hurt. Number 8 is absolutely agonizing and my head is stuck on the wrong song. Say It Right is no song to be swimming to and it seems like the forward button in my brain got stuck but finally it switches to something more upbeat and I’m buzzing along again. Number 9 shows up and as I get into it I tell myself that here I am in the pool, TCB. One more to go, and I’m taking caring of so much business that I finish up 11 seconds faster than I did 3 weeks ago.

I touch the wall. It’s done. The swim test is done. I gasp for air so loud that the entire therapy pool to my left looks like a bowl of floating noodles with all eyes on me. At least they’re in the therapy pool and kept their noodles away from me and my laps.

100 easy back, I’m the noodle floating in the bowl of thick lap pool soup going nowhere fast. But that was ok, because you see I had just finishedTCB from the swim test and didn’t have to see that business for another month.

Afterwards, I did a short run and then called business done for the day. I walked out of the gym, and for the first time, I felt like falling asleep right there. I saw myself cuddling up on a bench and taking a nice cozy nap. I guess someone did a little too much business today.

Up next, the bike test. I’ll be rested, I’ll be ready. I’ll be TCB, baby, TCB.

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