I’m back in the town where I grew up, visiting Dad. I made my second trip to this very cool indoor pool a couple of miles away. I saw the lifeguard I met in December with the incredible voice. I swore this recreation center was piping in the operatic Christmas music until I saw her lips move as she walked the lanes. It was good to see her again.
The temp was 40 degrees outside. The pool was thankfully 80 degrees. I had a pleasant workout exclusively with the pull buoy – 1000 yards. Not much after babying my knee for a few weeks, but I felt it. Then I did 30 side leg lifts on each side in the water to strengthen my hips. Oh yeah, I felt those too. More importantly, I felt the endorphins as I strolled out of the locker room. That’s when I spotted it. The picture of Olympic triathlete Jarrod Shoemaker on the Wheaties box framed in the hallway. Our hometown hero who made it from Dartmouth to Beijing.
I asked the girl with the vocal chords if he trained there. Yes indeed. Not sure if there’s any hope of bumping into him this week since he could be en route to a race. She said he’s in a lot, helping our alma mater’s swim team, especially in the winter. Maybe I’ll see him tomorrow afternoon. If I do, I’ll ask him if we had the same cross-country coach, Mr. McMahon. I’ll ask him if he had Mrs. Busiek for biology too. And if he’s not too turned off by a 47-year old groupie, maybe he’ll give me some tips on how a runner can turn into a real swimmer. I traveled 3000 miles, but can’t escape the giddiness I feel for this sport – even in the off-season.