Yesterday was just another day at the pool. Sometimes the easiest things seem hard. Sometimes I am just not up for anything. So, as much as I wanted to just recover, relax and take it easy, I showed up. I rationalized, okay, take it easy, stretch out, lay low. But no, Mike put me in the fast lane, with two fast-ies, and no where to hide. So, I just closed my eyes, and went as fast as I could. Each time, falling further and further behind. Afterward, I told my lane-mate, thanks, you really pushed me. She surprised me, saying, "I wouldn't have done it myself, without you in the lane."
When I first got to the pool, I ran into an old friend. It was great to see him, and then I found out he just lost his job. "Let's have coffee, okay?" Not even a minute later, I see another friend, much younger, I hadn't seen for a while, Kent.
Whenever I see him, he reminds me of when he pushed me to my ultimate capacity and beyond. He just gives me energy. I talked him into swimming instead of the weight room. He seemed really hesitant, and most of the work out, he was hanging on the wall. I thought about what he does for me, and after seeing him hanging, I shouted, GO! He was still on the wall. After a couple more laps I said, come on, you're in, now just go back and forth!! He did swim a few laps. He's fighting cancer, and doesn't have the strength he had, when he played water polo. He said it's been hard lately. I think it's the first I have heard him say it's hard.
As I was leaving, I didn't realize all that was going on behind the scenes in my mind, and there was Bob. My longest running swim buddy. He missed the workout, and was just showing up. He said he was visiting his mom. He told me before, she was sleeping a lot. Listening to him, it finally dawned on me. She's 92. She's not interested in eating. She doesn't like to get up. She can't really hold a conversation. He said the nurse told him, there's not much more we can do.
I could see Bob's eyes welling up, which shocked me. See, Rob is John Wayne*. Same size. Same personality. Same age. Solid, stable, always sees things in perspective. Always positive. *Okay, with one exception - Bob loves to talk. Almost as much as me. That said, somehow I didn't know what to say.
Mike, my coach, knows everyone. The friendliest guy on the planet, says hi, and doesn't foist himself on you. Knows everyone's name, and their stories. He has doubled the size of our team, in his quiet attractive way. I used to think I wanted a coach who told me exactly where I could improve, what I was doing wrong, and how I could get better. I love Mike, but never really totally appreciated Mike's coaching style. His tips for me, are the same as for everyone else.
Get in, go back and forth.
I can add, as long I you can. It's important for me, and as much as I need others, they need me.