What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

4:30 AM: Swim

If you are among the fortunate who are privileged enough to sleep till 5:30 each morning, consider yourself singularly blessed by the Divine. I am among the poor, punished souls who must wake before the sparrow, blue bird, or newspaper boy. Every morning, under the pain of death (10 sets of 200 yard laps of the so-called butterfly stroke for anyone who is sleepy enough to be late), I go and practice liquid flotation. Sadly, I have had to endure this abuse since I joined the swim team a little over two years ago.

Waking up before the crack of dawn to stare at a black line at the bottom of a dimly lit pool is among the most demeaning experiences one can possibly endure. Not only are you half-naked (the speedo suit is more immodest than most of the costumes Christina Aguilera puts together), but a fully clothed coach is on the side of the pool shouting abasing epithets that would make the strongest mental giant cringe.

Every morning I awake to the sounds of Hans Zimmer on my Ipod docked in his Ihome alarm clock. After recovering from my abrupt waking by following along through the opening bars of the third movement of Gladiator, I proceed to don my immodest swim gear. After completion of my swimming preparation, my wonderful mother drives me to the pool.

When I get to the pool deck, I begin my morning ritual. No matter how many sticky notes I put on the side of the computer screen or how many sharpie notes I inscribe on my palm, I always make the same goofs. After realizing that I “accidentally” put my suit on inside out and backwards, I make a quick change in the restroom. I then spend a few minutes looking for my goggles, fins, and paddles, tools that should be left to toddlers but are often used by merciless coaches for training. After returning from the pool, I stand at the edge whimpering and praying for mercy until the official director of drowning (prevention) pushes me into the pool.

Once in the water, I continue my whimpering.

As if all that weren't enough, the water temperature is perpetually out of whack. Whether in the unbearably hot indoor pool in the winter or in a freezing pool in the cool mornings of the summer, the temperatures are always set to the severest hot and cold. Are 90 degrees and 40 degrees but the two settings on the pool heater controls? I know you aren't supposed to answer rhetorical questions, but I should think they aren't! Yet the managers of the pool facilities seek to add more pain to the swimmer’s already miserable state by setting the liquid temperatures to the extremes.

After a few short girly screams that put my manhood to the test, I begin my warm up. After about the first ten minutes of my swimming (twenty minutes after the start of practice), the intense temperatures and strain from the hard workout reduce my memory to 45 seconds and I probably couldn't tell an armed man any more about the practice. The next memory is my fellow swim mates and I recovering in the locker room, but that's a story for another time.


Ryan said...

ouch. ouch.

Lady A said...


I thought you liked that stuff! I've watched you change from a land mammal to an aquatic being since you started swimming....

Note: Can't say how true this is, as I can't swim and it is physically impossible for me to go more than two feet under the surface.

Christopher Yerziklewski said...

Ahh the joys of self torture. I wish I could degrade and destroy myself with such ease. But alas, only a select few have the honor of such abilities.

Vevy said...