Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Secret Life of Swimmers


I heard about The Secret Life of Swimmers in our locker room the other day and immediately had one of those annoying "damn, why didn't I think of that?" moments. But I didn't think of it, and we're all lucky a woman named Judy Starkman did think of it because it's genius. She's taken photos of swimmers from her pool both at the pool, as she knows them, and in their "real life". I've included one of my favorites above but you have to take a look at her work. We all experience this kind of "Whoa, I think that's the guy from Lane 3" when we see fellow Masters swimmers out at Target or our kid's baseball game, or, as has happened to me and I suspect many of us here in the Valley, in a pitch to a local VC. At first glance, I am always shocked by the almost-indecency of seeing someone I may not know well but usually see naked or clad only in a swim suit, fully clothed and doing something other than gliding through the water horizontally in silence. With The Secret Life of Swimmers photos alone, Judy has captured that initial shock and recognition and inexplicable closeness I feel when I see teammates from my pre-dawn watery life in the bright daylight of normalcy. It is always a welcome jolt of camaraderie I can hardly explain, and I love the way looking at her photos makes me feel even though I have never swum with any of her subjects (as far as I know). With her features written about the swimmers she followed into their "dry" lives, she has captured a whole lot more as well.

All this makes me want to do one thing: capture all of you in a similar way. I don't think I particularly have the photographic talent to do it, and I'm not sure I'll actually make the time, but I want to. I have always wanted to read bios of everyone I swim with, and know what it is they bring to the pool and take away from the pool after the laps are done. The bitter experience of Heidi's death juxtaposed with the sweet outpouring of human effort from our team that I like to think helped buoy her and her entire family during the end of her life was awe inspiring and I learned a whole lot about some of the people who swim around me during that recent time. But we shouldn't need a tragedy to know each other, should we? I think we just need the inspiration to do so, and the willingness to make the time. I am inspired by Judy, as I was by Heidi. Now I just need to manufacture some good old fashioned time. It would take your help and prodding to do so, so speak up if you think I should do it.

And, speaking of secrets, I had a secret freak out today when the workout started ten minutes late and did not consist of the long free I so greatly desired. Tim is out of town and the workouts aren't matching the calendar, which is fine (I remind myself). Privately I was cursing. It's a little problem I have. And that is why I should never pre-read the workouts.

*warmup: 6 x 150s: 2 free, 2 free to back, 2 free to kick

add fins for:

*6 x 25's fast kick, 4 x 50's fast swim, 200 drill
repeat 3x: free, back, choice
This sounds super easy. It wasn't. Yes, that might be because I did 30 minutes of leg work before arriving at the pool. But still.

remove fins for:

*100 free, 75 back, 50 free, 25 back

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