Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The man in the yellow trunks

On those days when you don't feel like getting out there and doing it, there is always some unexpected reward you receive for doing it.

Like always, as I swam today and worked on my breathing and rolling, I checked out the form of the nearby swimmers to pass the time. I was sharing the lane with the swimming instructor who is preparing for the 4.4-mile Chesapeake Bay Swim (which is always on the same day as Eagleman, so I won't be there this year. But I may be some day, when my swimming improves). I was encouraged to see that I was swimming about the same speed as she was, even when she was doing flip-turns. I presume she was working on her technique too.

Fortunately the pool water was finally noticeably cleaner than it has been! Yay! I might not die from toxic pool microbes after all!

Today's reward was an unexpected conversation with Mr. Yellow Trunks. He was swimming in the lane next to mine. He's a very overweight middle-aged man, swimming along in his baggy yellow trunks with inefficient form that included a huge *SPLASH* every time his right arm slammed down into the water. It looked kind of painful, like an arm belly-flop.

When I stopped and asked him if I might switch into his lane (preparing for them to empty my lane for the entry of the aqua aerobics crowd), Mr. Yellow Trunks began telling me about his workout. Six sets of 200 meters, or something like that. He explained how he was in training for the Gulf Coast Triathlon in May. I congratulated him on his workout and told him he had earned a nap! I mentioned that I had entered Columbia and Eagleman, but since he didn't know anything about those local events I could kinda tell he was pretty new to it all, so that's all I said about it.

He described how he had done 2.5 hours on the exercycles at the club a few days before and completed 56 miles, and then couldn't walk the next day. I couldn't break the news to him that the exercycles give credit for about twice as many miles as they really should.

What did my heart good was seeing how very PROUD of himself he was. He had a mission. He was feeling great, stoked to have completed his workout, and was charged up and ready to take on the day. He was changing his life. He was becoming a triathlete.

I smiled to myself, and went on with my swim. Yep, I know that feeling.

11 comments:

jessie_tri_mn said...

Aww.... nurturing the trinewbies.

I bet you were intimidating to him, having IMs in your future and so many, many miles in your past.

nancytoby said...

LOL! I'm pretty sure my physique in a swimsuit and my technique in the pool is just about as non-intimidating as it gets. :-)

Sara said...

Hell you are intimidating to me. But I plan on starting to go the distance soon.

nancytoby said...

It's kind of amazing to hear anyone say that to me! But remember, I only re-started running again about 2.5 years ago, after my girls were born. See http://home.comcast.net/~nancytoby/race_calendar.htm

If I can do it, anyone can!!!!

trifit said...

wait a minute -- the bikes at the gym give you credit for twice as many miles? I'm crushed.

nancytoby said...

Oh, that's just at my gym. I'm sure the exercycles at your gym probably are set to award only half the miles of real road cycling. :-)

nancytoby said...

Well, also on the exercycle time, I was adoing a little mental math, too - I knew my half IM/56-mile bike time, and I knew it was one HELL of a lot longer than 2.5 hours, and he looked like someone I could probably keep up with on a bike....

stronger said...

At least his yellow trunks weren't yellow speedos. I used to cringe when my former partner would wear the yellow speedo AND do flip turns.

I noticed you mentioned Steamboat Tri in Bold's comment section.

Do it. Do it. Do it. I'll see you there.

Fe-lady said...

It's contageous isn't it when you see someone really proud and excited after accomplishing something for themselves...yeah Mr. Baggy yellow trunks! That's what I like about working with kids I guess...that same feeling!

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

I don't find you intimidating, just inspiring.

Cliff said...

Good too see another tri newbie...learning his stuff..

also good ot see u to welcome him.. :)