Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Dirty Little Secret

Please study these pictures closely. You will be quizzed on this.
Climbing! But really just laying on some rocks.
Running in a duathlon.

Sitting near  (but not in) the ocean.

Changing out of bike shoes while looking ridiculous.

Vivian, the grumpy-looking cat.
  What do all of these pictures have in common? Please circle only one.

A) All of the pictures do not involve me swimming.
B) All of the above.

If you picked choice A or B you are correct.

I am going to tell you a secret. I can’t swim. If you threw me into a pool I wouldn’t drown (at least not immediately) and I can competently splash around in ocean waves, but ask me to do a lap and I sink like a big fat brick. During elementary school summers my friends would get up at 7 and head to the local pool for a few hours of swim team training. I’d stay in bed and join them in the afternoon for games of Marco Polo or Sharks and Minnows.

One summer I signed up to do a lap-a-thon to raise money for cystic fibrosis. I raised $4. I sucked. A year later lifeguards in Ocean City, Maryland, had to rescue me after I got sucked a bit too far out and decided I couldn’t manage to swim back to shore.

I can’t remember the last time I actually went for a swim – likely it’s been close to 20 years. My gym doesn’t have a pool, there’s no body of water to swim in within a reasonable distance of my house and, quite honestly, I don’t feel like being mediocre at anything else athletic – that list is long enough.

“So how many Ironmans have you done?” I’ve been asked more than once.

“Zero. Plus, it’s not really something that you can sign up for and then just sort of show up,” I answer.

“Is it because it’s so far?”

“No, it is because I can’t swim. And I don’t want to take the time to learn how.”

I’ve never done even a sprint tri, and likely never will. I am cool with avoiding the water and, despite the increasing number of local triathlons, I am not even tempted to join in the fun.

That is all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Haha! I totally get the not swimming part! And I have lived my entire life no more than 10 miles away from the sea...