12/08/08 Swim Meet Results
34.99 in the 50 Meter Freestyle (last for my age group), 1:19 in the 100 (second to last). These are the only two events I felt I could actually swim without making a fool of myself. Both timese were personal bests and are a snapshot of where I sit today......
Personal bests........that's what swimming is about. I think it's a metaphor.
Friday we flew from Las Vegas direct to Long Beach and tied down at Airflight where they had a rental car ready for us. Bags out of the plane, into the car, and down the road. I do love general aviation. Checked into the hotel after a short drive through the LA Friday night rush hour, then down to Belmont Shores to find the pool. Found out several of the LV Masters were in the longer events that night and doing very well. Went to Parker's Lighthouse in Shoreline Village for dinner overlooking the Queen Mary. It was a nice evening and I loved watching Kathy enjoy herself.
Saturday morning was a sleep in time and we finally got up and had breakfast near the pool (not the hotel pool) where we were joined by the first of our supporters, Dave. He popped down from the San Fernando Valley to watch my leg in the relay and then my 50 freestyle. Nice to catch up with him too.
After swimming, I showered up and we headed to Knott's Berry Farm to meet up with our family friends Paul and Roxy and their girls Makena and Sierra plus their friends Hannah and Ava. Jake loves to spend time with them, so an evening at Knott's riding the rides was just the ticket. We had a ball riding on a few of the great roller coasts at Knott's too. Of note was no bathroom emergencies waiting in these lines, some of which were over an hour.
A late night in the lounge spending time with such great friends led to another lazy wakeup for the morning. The meet was running early and I swam the 100 free about 45 minutes ahead of schedule so Paul and Roxy saw it and then headed home to San Luis Obispo to get the kids back in time for school. By this time another Southern California friend, Tish, joined us in time for some dinner at Joe's Crab Shack down in Newport Beach.
I went to bed feeling pretty satisfied that people would drive from all over to see me swim.
I woke up at 2:30am after falling asleep at about 8:30 Sunday night. It was a nice feeling. My legs that day had felt as normal as they ever had for the past 3 or 4 years, my lungs felt huge, my breathing was so easy and deep, my heart was in rythym, and I had accomplished something worthwhile. I lay awake, smiling, wondering how and what I'd write in this blog. I knew the feeling I had was never going to articulate into words adequately. Listing my times, citing a few things we did, restaurants, tourist attractions, etc. doesn't tell the story.
The story comes in the acceptance. All the people I see daily at the pool but really don't get much chance to meet were around, happy for my last place times. Victor, our coach, spent the entire weekend bouncing around like a schoolboy watching all of us swim our events, and he was even proud of how I did. I knew he was a great swim coach but I never saw such passion and love for the sport like I witnessed at the meet. Friends drove for hours to watch me swim.....and not to win, or even come close to winning. Kathy and Jake cheered me on of course too. All it was about for me was to do my best and allow that to be good enough. What a feeling. To smile at 2:30 in the morning after winning nothing but the acceptance and support of close friends. To compete in something athletic again, something I am truly a beginner in. To see the video Jake took of my starts and a leg of my 50. To breath so deeply and effortlessly. To smile because I felt good. It was a moment of acceptance.
It was a great weekend for me. Not one I'll soon forget. I know my disease took another step toward the door this weekend. It's 9:00pm Monday the 8th. Back to the pool tomorrow morning at 5:30 to 7:00, then off to Sunflower Market to get my week's worth of fruit for the juicing. This weekend we're hosting the team swim party to celebrate how well our team did. Next week is my trip to Mayo Clinic for the objective neurological findings, so count on a report after that.