If there is one thing I remember clearly about swim practices, it is the dread. I was convinced that all my coaches were stubbornly sadistic and took pleasure in making practices as painful as possible. Every day, my mind would pluck out a plethora of feeble excuses, hoping to justify a skipped session. When I was much younger, I would wheedle, I would weep. I would go to the changing room as late as possible. Sometimes, that worked to my “advantage” – I could figure I’d be late anyways, so why bother going? Which is exactly what happened today.
Although I am not in the water, I am at the pool though, watching the others swim. Looking down, it really ISN’T that bad. Practice isn’t overkill today. It really isn’t. It is actually quite manageable.
So why didn’t I go? What IS so dreadful about practice, now that I’m not even part of the high school team (I’ve graduated) and it doesn’t matter if I get lapped by an eleven-year-old?
It does matter. The self-centered sore loser that I am is extremely embarrassed for not being able to keep up. Yet I just skipped practice, forgoing another chance to be less slow. It’s a vicious cycle – I dread practice because I don’t want to be seen this slow, so I skip practice. Exactly because I skip practice, I get slower and slower and slower and finally sink. (Kidding – I’m not to the point where I actually sink… yet.)
It's not a moment of epiphany - the obvious has been glaring at me for years. I must put down my ego and put in effort. I will say “shut up” to dread and dive into the water. Tomorrow - I promise.