Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Ship Sans Capitaine

Tuesday night we went to bed knowing that a monstrous snow cloud was heading our way. It was supposed to start snowing around midnight and go all day Wednesday.

I packed my swim bag for the morning not knowing what to expect. I also pulled out my cycling clothes just in case I woke to find my car buried.

As I tend to do when things aren't clear, I spent most of the night half-awake as my brain wandered through all the options of what might happen at 4:50am.

I could wake up and there might be no snow. Go swimming.

I could wake up and there might be a ton of snow. Stay home and cycle in the basement.

I could wake up and there might be a middle of the road amount of snow. Enough to get through if I really wanted to but enough to also cause my cell phone to start beeping at 7am with 25 people wanting to know if they had to come in to work or not. Do I go swimming and therefore ignore everyone's questions until 7:30am? Do I head down to the basement so that I can answer the phone while cycling?

Yep, these are the things that keep me tossing and turning.  I got up at midnight and looked outside. I got up at 2am and looked outside. I was still tossing at 3am and sternly told myself that I had figured out all three possible options, knew how I would respond to whatever I saw at 4:50 and to just go. to. sleep.

I woke at 4:40am to see Doug staring out the window. We had snowy streets and a dusting of snow on the car. Not enough to do anything other than slow my drive to the pool and not enough to cause anyone to wonder if work would be closed.

I went swimming.

I arrived on deck at 5:30am and was the only one there. All lanes were empty, as was the locker room.

I slipped silently into the water and swam 50m. Another girl showed up. I swam another 50. More people showed up. By 5:40, four lanes were full of Masters swimmers. There was a lane packed with a high school swim team and the other three lanes were overflowing with lane swimmers.

You'd never know it was snowing.

The only thing missing was a coach...and a workout.

We asked and were told they were going to give our coach another 20 minutes and, if she didn't show up, the would then post a workout. So everyone started suggesting workouts. Let's do 100m drill/swim. Let's do some kicking. Let's do this, let's do that.

Twenty people, all of whom got up and made it to the pool for 5:30am and no little list of what to do to guide us. Some of us were swimming. Some were doing drills. Some were kicking and some were standing around at the end of the lanes.

Just after 6am, a workout was posted. Nothing crazy. Nothing overly strenuous. In fact, we laughed because the things we were told to do didn't add up. For example, we had to do 3x800m and each 800m was made up of different things (pulling, kicking etc). The first 800m worth of stuff added up to 1000m.

So we laughed. And then we started swimming. Because it doesn't really matter what we do, as long as we know what to do. As soon as that little list was put in front of us, we moved in unison, swimming up and down the lanes, crossing one thing off after another until we finished the list or until we had to go.

Swimming has the potential of being the most boring kind of workout. There is no scenery, no music, no videos. Just back and forth along a black line, turning around every 25 metres. It's mind numbing.

Add a little purpose to the activity and suddenly it becomes a lot more exciting.

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