Monday, I did something I never thought I could do. Scratch that: I never thought I could do again. Scratch that: I never thought I could do well. Truth be told, I didn’t do it all that well (you know me), but I did my very best: I swam. I mean, I know how to swim (learned in my prime, i.e. before 10). Breaststroke, that is: as soon as I got done learning that and we moved on to crawl, I sort of zoomed out: I already knew how to swim, why should I learn two methods?
To run a triathlon, that’s why. Only I discovered that at age 37, long after I was out of that pool. And, back in September 2018, when I ran said triathlon, I did manage to swim — technically — even crawl — technically — but my time was shit — technically. As in, I believe I was second to last out of all the men in swimming, and in the bottom 10 out of all the women. And there were a lot of women.
Needless to say I’d trained for that triathlon (I obviously had not) and was all set and ready to go (I obviously was not: only picked running 9 months prior and my only riding involved public bikes). After that, I logically concluded that a bit of preparation would go a long way (even just standing still in water for any amount of time would have helped at that point), so I decided that I would — finally — go to a swimming pool to improve (some would still say ‘learn’) crawl. That was, again, back in September 2018. Then it got cold, because winter came.
I know it’s not the greatest excuse, because Paris has indoor pools — or so I gathered — but still, the idea of dressing up in swimming trunks and diving into water — although it actually turns out you don’t dive when you distance swim: one less fun thing to do… — in the middle of winter somewhat feels counter-intuitive to me. Call me crazy, but the idea of sweating in a heated gym makes slightly more sense (and only just barely). And so I did that. All winter long (this is the part where I try to show I’m not an entirely lazy f**k).
Then came Monday and my unfortunate politeness that prevented me from saying “no” to my fiancée when she suggested we go swimming on our lunch break. On our lunch break, you guys… I hadn’t properly swam in over a decade (if ever) and I was about to swim on a week day before grabbing salad! Like, how much can a person change, do you think?
Turns out, some: we did go swimming, I didn’t drown and even crawled for a bit in there. Technically. Then ran out to eat my salad, cuz I could barely stand without shaking after 45 minutes in there.