So now for an update on my newly discovered commitment to swimming for fitness and mental health. My recreation center pool opened up this week for limited lap swimming. I was beyond excited because our outdoor pool closed last Sunday. Wednesday I showed up to begin on the first day of its opening. As I was getting in the pool. the lifeguard said “ You are the first member in that pool in over six months”. That fact alone motivated me to knock off 40 laps—my new record.
Yesterday every lane was full. I had no particular goal in mind as I began to check off laps. At about lap 32 (1/2 mile) the pool emptied out and I had it all to myself. “I thought maybe I will shoot for 48 laps, my new record”. When I got to 48 laps I had more gas in my tank. I thought “What the heck, I am going for a mile”. Maybe it was adrenaline, or perhaps a result of about 34 days of training— I did it.
There were no fireworks or finish line, just a twenty something young woman sitting on the life guard stand. I got out of the pool, dried off, gathered my things and walked by the person assigned to watch after me. “I just swam my first mile in over 50 years”. “Oh”. That was all. Then she looked away. Ok, she had to sit there and watch some old guy chug through the water, but she could least have smiled. I slumped off to the locker room without even a participation trophy.
Humility is not a bad thing. My life in the 12-step world has taught me about the “gifts” of getting ‘right sized’. Within a few minutes I was able to laugh at myself. “Dude… You just swam a mile” I said to myself out loud in my car.
Today while swimming again, James the lifeguard, who introduced himself to me while I was swimming alone again, made my day. “I noticed you are here on the days I work. You work really hard”. “Well thanks, I am just glad to have the opportunity”. “Keep it up, a lot of people go real hard for a week or two then you never see them again. How many laps did you do today”? “I did 34”. “Wow, we just have to do 10 a day”.
This time I left knowing that the only person I have to impress is me.
Onward and Upward,