Monday, January 14, 2008

Adult Swim

And so you are wondering. About the intrasquad swim meet. How did it go.

I arrived at the pool to find I have forgotten my goggles. Super. The only thing I am really picky about and really need I have forgotten. So I ask Drew for goggles. He pulls out an extra pair and then proceeds to tell me about twenty minutes worth of directions on how to put them on. Seriously? So I try to put them on and he’s right. I mean, these goggles are something else. He gives me the directions again and tries to talk me through it and I swear ten minutes later the goggles are still not on so I just ask if he has another pair of goggles that do not require a PhD to put on to your head.

Leave it to husband to have such a pair. No surprise.

So then I am assigned to what surely would be the winning team. Maybe not but it was the team that Dave wasn’t on and that’s good because the night before Dave and I had decided to talk “staged” trash in an effort to get the team riled up. Which involved a bunch of finger pointing and finish time barbs. When he got of the lane after doing 100 breaststroke in 1:10:09 I told him I would have gone faster. I would have gone 1:09.

But you can’t talk trash without yourself getting in to deliver. So I signed up for what seemed like a dozen events. Of course I’m not half the swimmer most of the swimmers on our team are so thank god I ended up in the second heat of most events. When I thought I was mistakenly put into the first heat of the 100 free I shouted I DO NOT BELONG IN THIS HEAT but then the coach informed me I know that’s why we switched you into the next (code for: remedial) one.

Thank you.

I warmed up 1000 yards and then stood on the deck. First event. 200 medley relay. Opted out of that one. Not sure what it even entails. A swim and a song. Who knows. Ok, next event. 100 open. Yes, I report to the deck, I will do 100 IM.

Wait a minute, the coach says. You will do 100 IM? Disbelief. I know, there is something fundamentally wrong about this but yes, me, 100 IM. A raised eyebrow.

“Lane 5.”

100 IM. I dive, dolphin kick, kick, kick, breathe, kick, arms, breathe. One down, 25 fly. Backstroke. This should be easier. My head is out of the water. This is not easier. WHY IS THIS NOT EASIER? Now on to breaststroke. A little problem here – I don’t do breaststroke legs. But I can dolphin kick with breaststroke arms. Ok, good, good, now a two hand touch. On to free. Free feels like home. And then I’m home.

I get out of the pool. Two people are in front of me.

You have been double disqualified.

Oh for the love of the dryland will you at least let me catch my breath. And isn’t this just for fun? Crazy swimmers. Get a hold of yourselves. And what is this talk of disqualification. I swam the whole way. Apparently I did dolphin kick during breaststroke (yes, I know) and apparently you cannot flip to your stomach during backstroke before you hit the wall. First of all – I can’t believe they were watching me. Second of all – must we get lost in the details of how I got to the wall after 100 yards, can’t we just be happy I got to the wall at all. And third – how will I know where the wall is if I can’t turn around. Hmmph?

No one answers my imaginary questions. But they do tell me my time. That’s a good time for 100 IM. I look at the stopwatch. I have no clue what this means. Tell me this – what did my husband swim. Ok, I was 9 seconds slower. That’s all that counts. Next time we swim 100 IM I will kick his ass. A benchmark has been set. The other day I said to him I will beat you this year. He said in what? I said never you mind just know that somewhere along the way it will happen.

He laughed. That was probably the most appropriate response.

Next up – 200 free. Is there any worse event than 200 free? Not short enough to sprint, not long enough to feel like you have permission to go slow. I’m in the fast heat which means I am about half a length behind everyone else and still reeling from 100 IM. Husband is ahead of me by at least 12 yards. I am the worst 200 free-er ever. EVER! I hate this event. HATE IT! Know what that means? I am going to have to do it at the real swim meet in three weeks. Rule of the pool: that which we hate is really that which we need most.

Next up – 50 open. I choose 50 fly. I know - why? I don’t know. Why not. I have nothing more to say about this event other than…50 fly.

Next up – 50 free. An event built for me. Dive in and bolt! No breathing necessary just spin those arms and kick those legs. But after 50 fly there is not much left in the tank so my time is only one second faster than at practice.

One second
(I have found just found a numerical value worse than 4 watts).

100 free. Realistically I should do this fast. I love this event. Bolt for 25, bolt for another 25, bolt even harder for 25 and then kick it all the way in. But if you add up 100 IM + 200 free + 50 open + 50 fly you get……a – 400 percent chance that you will break your best 100 free time. But that is ok. Did I mention I did 50 fly?

Last event – 200 free relay. I choose to go last. I will be the anchor! I dive in and do my best imitation of windmill arms no breath. I emerge from the water, a woman walks up to me and says “I have never seen anyone turn their arms over that fast.” I know, I’m something special when it comes to swimming what can I say.

The meet is over. I have no idea which team won because we weren’t really doing it for the win. It was fun. Good old Friday night fun. And to think people go to bars to drink beer from plastic cups. We swim. As adults we could be anywhere on a Friday night. We choose the pool for a little friendly competition, a little trash talk and some relays.


This is why I love to swim.

6 comments:

Beth said...

Awesome job Elizabeth! I think that takes a lot of bravery for a non-swimmer...and the 50 fly? Now that's really brave! Anyway, sounds like a lot of fun!

Pedergraham said...

That's a great description of a medley relay--it would be a lot more fun if there was singing involved!

IronMatron said...

That sounds so fun! I can't believe you did all of those events in one meet. Dear God. Isn't the limit usually like three? Congrats on the IM and fly!

Jason said...

Oh, the pain of competitive pool swimming. Keep me in the open water and I'm much happier.

Eric said...

All I can say is....State meet....1000 free, 500 free, 200 free, 100 free, 50 free.

:)

triclancy said...

This is why I choose to swim, bike AND run. I would have such a fragile ego if I only swam!

Congrats!! I'm sure you more than held your own against those swim folk ;-)!