When I was a little boy, I use to admire swimmers at the pool. I’m not sure why, but in my naïve mind, a good swimmer had to be a great man. There is a fascinating grace, a power, a confidence that exudes from a great swimmer. Another important thing is that I was very afraid of the water, I still am actually.
Being French and sometimes a little cynical, I often think that the New Year’s holiday is nothing more than an excuse to passively complain about what we dislike in our own lives, while being too lazy to make any long-term changes. But this year, I wanted to leave all of this behind me, I want to become a great swimmer.
So twice a week I go to the pool at Asphalt Green with my friend Thomas, fighting my anxiety. Now, I know what you are going to say, I have done several triathlons, and I’m not exactly a beginner. That’s true, except that I always use my breaststroke in a race, I can’t swim more than 100 yards using freestyle. So I always lose 10 to 15 minutes on my opponents! And you know me by now, I don’t like to be behind the competition.
I belong to a group of triathletes preparing for an Ironman, as you can imagine I’m not exactly the fastest. Our coach Mike makes me do all kinds of exercises, swimming on my side, swimming with only one arm, standing in the water just kicking, and somehow, I always end up drinking a lot of water.
But I am very grateful for all of the support that I get, thank you Thomas, thank you Mike. When I was a little boy, looking at those annoyingly good swimmers, I was afraid to jump in. I was afraid to tell people that I couldn’t see very well, especially without my glasses. It took me twenty years to accept it, and I have a lot of work to do to make up for all this time.