While swimming laps, I glanced over to the next lane just as another swimmer glided past. Moving through the water appeared to be effortless. I watched him flip turn at the wall and come back in my direction. I turned away and resumed my focus on the pulls until he was far enough ahead to not notice my attention.
At the wall, I fumbled with a wall turn. I silently cursed the hand paddles and leg buoy and hoped the guy in the next lane didn’t see.
As I continued to observe, I found it clear that 100’s were going on in the lane beside me. The guy stopped at the wall for a short while before resuming his workout. As I stopped to drop my paddles and buoy, I was relieved to see that he was staring at the clock. Whew!
I gulped down a few sips of gatorade and pondered the next part of my workout. I was inspired by this guy’s focus. Taking a big breath, I glanced over at the clock and pushed off just as he was approaching. Doing my best to focus on my own stroke, I began psyching myself up for a flip-turn attempt. I quit doing them some time ago when I was failing to get over nicely.
Gasp, stroke, stroke, turn, push. Not great, but not too bad. I pushed off and continued on picking up speed as I went. Before long, I was at the other wall. Psych, gasp, stroke, stroke, funky turn. Oh shoot, where is the wall? The guy in the next lane was approaching quickly. I found the wall and pushed off. I wondered if he saw my feeble attempt at turning.
The good part, was that no matter what that thing at the wall was, I somehow managed to push off and continue on with my workout. I decided to let it go as long as I could find the wall and resume my stroke. I continued on, sometimes flipping, often times flopping.
Meanwhile, things the pace was easing up in the next lane over. In between 100’s, I looked on from a different vantage point admiring his form – back, shoulders, and arms too. That lasted all of 10 seconds and then it was time to work on my own form.
Reach, stretch, pull, stroke, reach, stretch, pull, stroke… psych, gasp, stroke, stroke, flip turn. Humm? Not bad, if I do say so myself. With only one more 100 planned, I went all out as I returned to the wall. I was even more pleased with myself when I saw the clock; I had an extra 5 seconds to catch my breath and admire my pool pal. Unless…
He stopped at the wall. I turned back to clock quickly, took a deep breath, pushed off and hoped he was looking on. Reach, stretch, pull, stroke, reach, stretch, pull, stroke…
All in all, it was an awesome workout. Somewhere along the way, I lost track of my count. With all the excitement, I bypassed my goal of 5 x 100’s and completed 8 instead! Even better, the guy in the next lane took me out to dinner. Pretty nice, eh? Talk about positive strokes.