Before I fill you in on what happened at the pool today, it occurred to me that you deserve my THANKS(!!!) for reading my blog. Surely, I have worn out your patience by now… And, surely, you must be wondering when I am ever going to get back to Illinois in my blog! Soon. Really. I promise.
But, first, I would like to share an e-mail I received from Sally, the owner of Gold Coast Guest House B&B ( www.bbchicago.com ):
“Wow, Elaine…..you are so talented!
Between the gorgeous photos & the copy…you should TEACH blogging.
With your permission, I would like to forward it to the Chicago Tourism Bureau. (they send me Travel Writers & other Media people).
I think they would enjoy the photos & commentary.
Thanks again to you & Laura for choosing the Gold Coast Guest House & for your nice comments in your blog.
42 years shows a wonderful friendship!
Sally’s e-mail made my day! I have greatly appreciated the comments you all have sent via e-mail or on this blog, but, you are my friends and family; perhaps a bit subjective in your assessment. But, this one came from somebody who barely knows me. It really made me feel that perhaps you weren’t just being subjective after all.
So, off to the pool I went, feeling jazzed about Sally’s comments; just the extra spark I needed to inspire me to… fly.
For those who don’t swim, butterfly is more commonly known as “fly” to those of us who compete in swimming. And, it is known as the most demanding stroke; especially racing it at the 200 meter distance. But, that was definitely not what I did today. Endurance fly is a completely different animal (insect?) than racing the stroke. It’s slow-going; keep the kick easy and the glide long. And, breathe every stroke; a necessity to survive swimming butterfly for any distance.
So, today, I set out to break my personal best of swimming 900 yards of fly non-stop; a mark I hit two weeks ago, after I realized I really could swim 200 yards of the stroke and perhaps race it someday. This time, I placed the camera on a tripod, so Bruce wouldn’t have to hold it for 20 (or more…) minutes. And, this time, I gave him my dive slate, so he could keep track of my yardage for me; something I neglected to do last time. (If I had known it was 900 yards, do you think I would have stopped there with only four laps to go to make it to 1,000? It was only after viewing the video that I realized I came up short. But, I was still ecstatic at having made 200 yards, so what the heck?)
The camera started and off I went, keeping a watch on deck for a quick look, now and then. The first 200 yards was a bear, but once I got over that hump, it was starting to feel good. When I hit the 900 yard mark, I took a quick look at the watch: 20:00; thirty seconds quicker than last time. Cool! Only four more laps to go to make it to 1,000!
Little did I know, shortly after the 1,000 mark, the camera decided to stop recording and write to the memory card, instead. Perhaps the file got too big? But, Bruce started the camera up, again, a few strokes down the pool. So, I have two videos of my swim;
Part 1: http://youtu.be/4PJouksr3wI
At this point, I decided to keep on going, because I still felt good; no pain in the shoulders and plenty of energy left in the tank. Maybe I could make it to 1650 yards (known as “The Mile” in swimming competition)? Yes, I could- and, I did! From what I can tell between the two videos, I reached the mile in 37:39; slow, for sure. But, I did it! And, I kept on going…
At the 2,000 yard mark, I saw two legs right in front of me on deck, just as I touched the wall. Uhhh-ohhhh! Bruce came over to tell me the memory card was full and stopped after 1,825 yards. @*#%!!! Yes, I really did say it. Loudly. (I hope the kids at the outdoor pool didn’t hear that nasty word.) But, I could have kicked myself in the *&@ (butt) for not having my larger memory card in my camera. So, feeling like the butter was taken from my fly, I quit. I know I could have kept going, too. I was feeling goooood! And, as I sit writing this post, I am not even feeling sore.
When Dr. Braun, the surgeon who operated on my shoulder read that I had swum 900 yards butterfly, he sent an e-mail with this reply:
Amazing!!! When I want to go 900 yards//// I take the car!
I wonder what he’ll say about me swimming 2,000 yards of fly… Surely, he is thinking I am a NUT. And, yes, he would be right. Officially, I am a “Butternut”, qualifying as a swimmer who has swum 500 yards of butterfly (or more) continuously. This is my t-shirt:
And, with that, I now leave this loooong post, once again, nowhere near Crystal Lake (or anywhere else in Illinois).
Soon. I promise. Soon.