July 31, 2014

Aqua Pura

Montreal's Parc Jean-Drapeau

As some of you know, four years ago I got back into the pool right before my 50th birthday. I had taken a 30 year hiatus from competitive swimming and was curious to see how fast I could swim at mid-life.

I thought I might just do one race and hang-up my cap and goggles once again, forever.

At the time, my first race was an especially frightening experience- as I took a deep breath and hoisted my veiny legs and droopy ass up on the starting block.

Heart pounding, I felt as though I was naked.

I hesitate talking about being a competitive athlete because I know at this stage of life it can alienate people. I have a good friend who was born on the same day and year as me and she has said that the athlete in me is the place where our common paths take a sharp turn. Perhaps she feels as I do when I meet someone like a micro-physicist or a neuroscientist and can only hold the conversation together for a nanosecond. This is a bad analogy but hopefully you know what I mean!

What I like about racing is the complexity of pulling not just the physical aspect of it together, but the mental and emotional ones as well. Like two of my siblings and my mom, I think I am a born athlete (as many people are, who are ADD'ish).

I may not always be a competitor, but hopefully I will experience the joy of swimming for many years to come.

Cindy and me on the pool deck; circa 1978

Which brings me to this exciting thing:

Very soon, Cindy, my bestie, who I met on the swim team in 5th grade, and I will head to Montreal, by train, for the World Masters Swimming Championships, along with almost 6000 other swimmers, from 93 countries around the world. Kind of like the swimming Olympics for older folks like us- but much, much easier to get into.

Older folks acting like kids again.

And- there will a 97 year-old-woman from New Zealand racing, as well as many other beauties in their 80s and 90s:-)

Fingers crossed.

Have a nice weekend everyone,