“You’re too snuggly,” my wife admitted at 4:45 this morning when her cellphone alarm began beeping a third time.
Guilty as charged. I had my arm over her warm body under the covers. The sweet smell of her hair in my face. What’s the rush to get out of bed?
It’s Friday Swim Day, that’s why. Agreed upon the night before. No missing out. Just keep swimming.
I took the garbage and recycling bins out to the curb. Brought in the morning paper. Slathered some Nutella on a slice of cinnamon raisin bread. Filled a Camelback bottle with water. Off we go in a cold car on a dark March morning.
At the locker I remove my wedding ring and slide it onto the key chain so it won’t get lost. Off come the clothes. Pants first and then swimming suit on. Keep the shoulders and back warm a few more precious seconds. It’s so early.
Hear a song over the sound system that recalls a college girlfriend. I glance at the wedding ring on the keychain. Recall that girl wanted a full carat diamond ring or she wouldn’t marry me. That’s what she said. I moved on.
Out on the pool deck the wait for a lane ensues. Some people are nice and share. Others go back and forth ignoring pool etiquette.
At the far end of the pool, a young man with one leg climbs out of Lane Two. I catch his eye and he winks back to say “Lane Open.” I walk down and shake his hand. He picks up his blade prosthetic and I ask, “Are you a triathlete?”
He smiles. “Yes I am,” he replies. “And hey,” he tells me. “If you ever need to share a lane come to me.” We exchange names. Another quick handshake. Then into the pool I go.
500 yards go by. I don’t usually warm up that far. But my goal is swimming 2000 yards, a bit more than usual. So I do a longer first section of the workout so that my brain doesn’t make up reasons not to go the full distance.
The swimmer in the lane next to me is smooth and strong. His arms barely ripple the water as he rips along at what must be 1:30 pace for the 100. Later in the locker room a swim buddy and I discuss the guy. How remarkable it is that people can seems so effortless in the water.
I worked on my catch and stroke efficiency during alternating sets of 100s and 50s. I kept my head down in the water and noticed the reduced drag right away. Every little thing counts in the water.
The Garmin kept cheating me out of 25 yards on the 100s. I had to keep adding laps to reach the goal of 2000 yards for the day. The arms tire a bit, so I kick more. Early morning pool brain can’t keep me from finishing the workout. My wife climbs out of the pool three lanes down. She’s no doubt swum more laps than me already. I call out to her, “I’m not quite done yet.” She looks cute in her suit. I can’t help it. I love women in swimsuits.
Back to business. The watch reads 1925. I swim the last 100 and push myself up and out of the pool. My chest and arms feel strong. What an awesome sensation.
It’s a great way to start the day. I’ve overcome Early Morning Pool Brain, and it’s worth it. Even if it does mean giving up a little snuggling.