Thursday, December 8, 2011

My quiet dark drive---

All of this started when I was eight. I joined a swim team. I loved it. I loved every single bit of it. So I lived it with all my soul until that final swim meet in college at the Unversity of Delaware. I still remember my last race. Then suddenly, it was over.

Years and years later, after college, after grad school, after I got married, and after I had 3 children, I wanted it back. I finally missed swimming. 

The only problem is I live in a town without a swimming pool. Not only is my town lacking a pool but all the surrounding towns are lacking a pool as well. I won't get started on that rant.  But, it is a sad and tragic ( maybe a strong word) fact for all the children in this region abundant with lakes that consistent swim lessons aren't available.

Moving on!

I made the decision to race Triathlons years ago ( another story) and that meant I needed to swim. How? How was I going to pull that one off?
My husband leaves for work at 7 a.m.
At that time, my boys were 2, 4, and 6. I was home with them all day long.
I thought and thought. I found a pool in a town 25 miles from here that opened at 5:20 a.m.
I can do it!
All I needed to do was set my alarm for 4:25, drive for 35 min, swim, leave there by 6:25 and I could make it home by 6:58!! perfect!

Did I say 4:25 a.m.?
Such a lovely hour. I hadn't seen that hour regularly since my babies were crying for me all night long.

Seven years have passed and I'm still doing it. Usually three times each week. 

Why? Because I want to swim. I want to swim fast. I want to swim faster than the people I'm racing. And, I love it.

The Worst part about the 4:25 alarm buzz, is the night before. When it's 9:45 p.m. and I just can't get myself to bed any earlier, it weighs on me. I pull my swim bag from the closet, throw in a towel, put my workout on the index card in a baggie and into the bag. I get out my water bottle, put the coffee cup on the counter and try not to think about it.
The alarm goes off and I think NO!!!!!!!!!!! Already????
Without thinking, I get up. My sweatshirt and sweatpants are at the foot of my bed.I put them on, kiss my husband goodbye and he always says, "be careful." And with that, I'm off.
After that first 60 seconds, the pain of it is gone.
I walk down the stairs, say Hi Kitties as they inevitably run by my feet, I go into the kitchen and turn on the lights. I pour the coffee that's hot and ready, grab my phone, swim bag and head down to the car. Sneakers on, coat on, coffee in hand and I'm outta there.
I turn the same station on the radio before I'm out of the driveway.
It no longer feels like 4:45 a.m. It feels like My quiet time!
I am alone on the roads.  The drive that is busy and slow during the daytime is 100% free and clear. The roads aren't lit except by my headlights. I hold my coffee, sip it slowly, listen to talk radio and think of nothing important.
It's a nice time of day to be honest. I'm ahead of everyone. I'm beating the rush.
By 5:22 I'm in my suit and on the deck. I admit, it takes me too too long to actually dive in. The 5 or 6 other ladies at the Y jump in Instantly. I don't know how they do it. I stand there. I stretch. I stretch more. I reread the workout. And finally, I tell myself, "you didn't get out of bed so early to Waste your time standing here!!" And I dive in. 
That's that.
As soon as I'm done I start rushing.  I rush to get dressed, to drive home, to say by to Mark, to say Hi to the kids, to make their lunchboxes, to clean the kitchen, brush their hair, make sure homework is in the bag, and so on....and it doesnt' stop until all 3 guys are tucked in their beds 13 hours later. 

And that's the silly little story of how I get myself to the pool all week!!!

that's me... back in the Cape pool as an 'old lady' at a Master's meet a few yrs ago.


Born To Endure said...

Wow, I give you so much credit!! I too get up at exactly 4:25 to swim, my drive is about 20 min's to the pool I swim at. I know exactly how you feel the night before when you can't sleep and 4:25 comes so are not alone :)

Alili said...

Is it possible that you just made this all sound reasonable? There is a reason why you are a force to be reckoned with! Call me inspired.

Karen said...

Sounds a lot like my story except I get to sleep until 4:45. :) I think once you get into the routine and if you have people there that you know will wonder where you are if you don't show, it helps! Impressed that you drive 25 miles to the pool. Serious dedication points for that!

Christi said...

Wow, that is absolutely amazing and makes my excuses very lame!

Michelle Simmons said...

I think I would do that too IF I had to. My pool here does not open until 7, which is a PITA actually b/c sometimes I would truly prefer to be done swimming by then... but I will not complain! It's 1 mile away and I jog to it. :) So sad that there is no local pool for all the kids in your town to swim in! Swimming is like WHAT WE DID when we were kids. I wonder how different my life would be today if there was not a pool for me to swim in when I was growing up? I bet I never would have gotten into triathlon- it all started with the masters team I was swimming with as a young adult!

Jennifer Harrison said...

Yeah, that is far. I knew you did that, of course...but it is so so hard. So, Kudos to you for keeping that up. I NEVER complain about my pools...I have 3 pools within 10 min of myself and they all open at either 5am or 6am. I do complain we have NO outdoor lap pools in this area, and that is true..but i live in chicago, so I can't be greedy.

Keep having fun swimming! It is so great, isn't it? :) I hope you are doing some meets this year!

Kim said...

i have difficulty waking up at 7:40am, so when i hear stories like yours, well, you give me motivation and inspiration ange!

mtanner said...

I feel for you on the pool being so far away, but isnt that time of day the BEST? I get up at 4am every day and love the quiet, the dark and that nobody is in my space:)

GetBackJoJo said...

I'm thinking it's time to look into getting an Endless Pool. You could put it off the deck maybe? Somehow?

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