The Olympian

Walking into the pool this morning I felt pretty average.
I woke up lethargic, just a little ho hum and I really didn’t want to get in the water.

The first lap and subsequent several, I felt the water dragging on my body and I just couldn’t seem to get into a decent rhythm.

After a bit I decided to change things up and work on the flip turn like I’d seen the olympians do on tv.

As I approached the end of the lane I began my turn by tucking my head and banging it into the wonderfully soft tiled edge of the pool.
Temporarily stunned, I breathed in some liniment flavored water, spit up someone’s wax earplug and prepared myself for another assault.

Approaching the other end and knowing I waited far too late to begin my turn the last time, I knew I had to get it going early.

Tucking my head and doing a perfect somersault with the exact twist I needed I thought “I’VE GOT THIS!” and started to plant my feet for a good and impressive shove off the wall, pushing as hard as I could to propel myself as far underwater as possible

My feet touched nothing.
I must have looked ridiculous, stretching full length in the water, fingers extended and reaching for greatness. My toes pointed and trying for firm purchase on the wall and at least eighteen inches away.

I’m sure the ladies thought I was having yet another seizure but I recovered and swam away from my embarrassment, trailing my dignity like a slow motion water skier.

Attempt number three brought complete and utter success.

I began my turn earlier than attempt number one, later than attempt number two and right on time. My grateful toes found the wall and I pushed off, skimming underwater with a feeling much resembling euphoria.

As I swam toward the other end I felt so free and so accomplished. I was absolutely gliding through the water feeling streamlined and slick.
I was high on life and liniment scented chlorine water.

As I got to the other end, my arms were feeling good but weak with the effort I’d been putting in so I thought I’d rest for a minute.

I stood up and smiled at the elderly woman in the lane next to me, knowing she’d seen the amazing feat I’d just performed at the other end, and nodded my hello.

Me: “Good morning!”
She: “…um…hi…uhhhh…”
Me: “Everything ok?”
She: “…um…no…uhhh…”
Me: “Do you need help?”
She: “…um…no…uhhhh…”

She: “You do.”

Me: “What’s wrong?”

She pointed at the far end of the pool and there, on top of the water, lay my feeling of freedom, accomplishment and my slick attitude in the form of my swimming trunks.
Except for my Elvis swim goggles and a moronic grin I was in my all-together birthday suit (it seriously needs ironing) and in full view of the octogenarian Chatty Kathy’s.

Heading to the other end “freestyle”, I looked much like a candy cane with my red face and white patooty, I retrieved my shorts, pulled them back on and amidst the cackling of the hens, made my way once more into the anonymity of the locker room.

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