Tuesday, January 29, 2013

To Beach a Whale

I was proud.  After dropping out of the lap swimming fraternity for fifteen years and packing on the pounds, I jumped back in the pool when the November snows came.   Purchasing a quarterly pass at Bozeman Swim Center I became a morning regular and met Leonard, who swims Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  He is 84 years young, a great guy and an old track athlete who swims a mile.  I started at about 800 yards, gradually increased to 1,000, then 1,200 and up to 1,400 yards.   Then one day last week I pushed ahead to 1,800 yards.  I swam a mile!  How about that?

In the locker room I was still huffing and puffing.  Leonard inquired of my workout.  I told him it went well, I had made the mile.  “Congratulations” he said.  The Aquatics Director walked in and asked “How are you doing?”  “Great” I said, “Just swam a mile!”  Maybe I can celebrate a little tonight I thought.  The Director went on, “I don’t know how to ask this, but we need someone who is really big to drill lifesaving techniques.  Could you stay after the public swim one day next week and let my lifeguards practice rescuing you?  I could give put an extra month or two on your swim pass.”   I said, “Oh yes I’ll be happy to.”  After thinking for a moment I continued, “And my goal is a year from now I won’t be big enough to suit your needs.”

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